Investigation questions number of sexual assault complaints in Uber database

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A Buzzfeed investigation shows an alarming number of sexual assault complaints in the Uber customer service databse. (KGO-TV)

A Buzzfeed investigation is questioning the alarming number of sexual assault complaints in the Uber customer service database.

Over the weekend, Buzzfeed published screenshots of the Uber customer service database using the keywords "sexual assault" or "rape."

Those screenshots show more than 11,000 customer emails.

Uber insists the data shown in the images is not an accurate representation of the number of legitimate sexual assault complaints it receives.

The company sent a response to Buzzfeed to explain why the number from the keyword searches is misleading.

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In that letter, the Chief Safety Officer at Uber writes that people routinely misspell "rate" as "rape." Drivers or passengers with a name including R-A-P-E, like Draper, will show up in the search.

And they also say people send emails like surge pricing "raped my wallet."

When those tickets are factored out, Uber says their analysis of the database found five alleged rapes and 170 claims of sexual assaults between December 2012 and August 2015.

Uber did not allow the Buzzfeed reporter to personally verify the company's numbers.

Uber says it is trying to contact the customer service representative who leaked the database information.

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