The offence of fraudulently obtaining transportation is outlined in section 393(3) of the Criminal Code.
An individual commits the offence of fraudulently obtaining transportation when they, by any false pretence or fraud, unlawfully obtain transportation by land, water, or air.
Person A gets into a taxi and asks to be taken to a location several blocks away, with the understanding that he will pay for the ride. Once at his destination, person A gets out of the car and runs away without paying.
Person B gets into an Uber she did not call or pay for and pretends to be the individual who ordered the Uber. She changes the destination of the ride and is taken to her chosen destination without paying for the trip.
Offence Specific Defence(s)
Lack of Intent
To prove that an accused has committed fraud, the Crown must prove that the accused intentionally used deceit or false pretence to defraud another party. If the accused had no intent to commit fraud, they cannot be convicted of fraud.
For example, person A orders an Uber home. Shortly after, they get a notification that they have been matched with a driver in a black SUV. After a few minutes a black SUV with an Uber sign in the front windshield pulls up. Person A gets into the car. Shortly after getting in, person A decides to go to her friend’s house instead of home and changes the destination address. Person A realises the next day after checking her Uber account that she had mistakenly gotten into someone else’s black Uber. Neither she nor the driver noticed. Person A has not committed transportation by fraud as she made an honest mistake and genuinely believed the Uber to be hers. She lacked the necessary intent to be convicted.
No Risk of Loss
To be convicted of a fraud charge, the Crown must prove that the victim suffered a loss or was at risk of suffering a loss. If there was no real risk of loss to anyone, the accused has not committed an offence but may be convicted of another.