The University of South Carolina is launching a campaign called "What's My Name" to help students stay safe when using rideshares following the killing of a student who got in a car she thought was her Uber.
The body of Samantha Josephson, 21, was found Friday hours after she was reported missing when she failed to return home from a night out with friends.
Surveillance video showed Josephson entering a car around 2 a.m. Friday, police said. A suspect, Nathaniel D. Rowland, is in custody facing charges of kidnapping and murder.
Investigators said Josephson had ordered an Uber and they believe she thought Rowland's car was her ride.
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After news of Josephson's death broke, University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides said the college would do everything it could to prevent another such death.
"We want every college student in America to take a pledge that says they will never get into a rideshare without first asking the driver, 'What's my name,' to make sure that they are getting in the right vehicle," Pastides said.
He said the university has received calls from worried parents asking how they can keep their children safe while using ridesharing.
The university offers shuttles and has a police presence, Pastides said, but he added that any problem of anyone impersonating rideshare drivers is more than just a local issue.
"This is really a national problem. We thought we had a safe city here and a safe campus, but this might happen again this weekend if a student gets into one of those vehicles and hasn't fully confirmed that it's the right vehicle," he said.
In order to prevent similar incidents from happening, Uber has offered a range of suggestions on how to stay safe when using a rideshare.
In addition to checking the license plate, the make and model of the car, and that the person in the photo matches the image on the app, Uber suggests travelers riding alone should sit in the back seat of the car in order to have an exit on either side. The company also suggests sharing trip details with a friend through a "share status" option on the app.
Kalhan Rosenblatt is a reporter for NBC News, based in New York.
Kerry Sanders is a Miami-based correspondent for NBC News, covering national and international breaking news and feature stories. He contributes regularly to “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt,” “Today” and MSNBC. His work, including reporting on Hurricane Katrina, Haiti's 2010 earthquake, the Chilean miners and Kosovo have earned him multiple awards.