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Image credit: Robin Marchant/Getty Images for car2go

Car2go: 'Fraud' caused Chicago shutdown, not hacking

There are claims of stolen cars and crime sprees.

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Robin Marchant/Getty Images for car2go

Car2go's rental service just suffered what appears to be a major incident. The company has temporarily suspended operations in Chicago after a "fraud issue" in the city. While Car2go didn't provide details (it told Engadget there was an "ongoing investigation"), sources for CBS' Brad Edwards claimed that up to 100 luxury cars had gone missing or were reported stolen, some of which had been used for crimes. Over 12 people were in police custody, Edwards said.

The service didn't address those specific claims in its response to Edwards, but did say it was "working with law enforcement" to address the fraud. It stressed that its app "wasn't hacked" and that that the perpetrators hadn't obtained sensitive member data.

Whatever the cause, the incident is unusual for car services as a whole -- it's not often that a company has to shut down service entirely in a given area, even if temporarily. It also highlights the concerns about internet-driven services in particular, since the added convenience of booking a vehicle online potentially makes it easier for fraudsters to go for joyrides.

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