Thousands of complaints regarding sexual assault and rape were submitted to Uber, according to leaked data, but the company says that those aren't the right figures, quickly providing the correct ones.

The statistics indicate that there are 6,160 customer support tickets that include the phrase "sexual assault" and 5,827 for "rape" that span about 33 months - from December 2012 to August 2015. Uber didn't waste time to clear things up, saying that "fewer than" 170 claims for sexual assault and five for rape were valid. Nevertheless, the incidents are appalling regardless of the numbers.

Moreover, differently worded phrases of the terms also turned up some disturbing numbers, where "assaulted" got 3,524 tickets and "sexually assaulted" 382.

BuzzFeed News brought this issue to light, and it got the screenshots from an ex-Uber customer service representative. Uber reportedly proceeded to investigate the matter, going in search for any CSR who keyed in the terms "sexual assault" and "rape."

Shortly after that, Uber sent a letter that explains the ins and outs, and answers some of BuzzFeed's questions.

Apparently, the search results also included any email addresses, rider's name and driver's name that has the letters R, A, P and E in order. One noted instance is the name Don Draper. Some of the riders also misspell "rate" as "rape" or use the latter term in a different context, where the example provided here is for "You raped my wallet."

Uber also responded when it was asked about whether it has audited the data that the screenshots revealed, explaining why it wasn't able to provide an answer immediately.

"[Y]ou have asked if this is the first time we have audited the data behind the screenshots in your possession. Because of the flaws highlighted above, we do manual audits of every ticket sent to Uber, not audits of key words. It's why it took us more than two days to answer your questions in detail. It is entirely untrue to conclude that we do not audit safety on our platform," Uber tells BuzzFeed.

Uber also confirmed that it did in fact contacted the CSRs who searched for the terms "sexual assault" and "rape" because it's concerned about how private information went beyond the company, noting that any other business under similar circumstances would have done "exactly the same."

The safety of riders is a top concern for the company, and as evidence to that, Uber has started to implement a stricter screening process and background checking of the drivers back in 2014, using biometrics technology and polygraph testing.

At this point, it's hard to tell whether the issue can be put at rest, as there's a slim possibility that Uber is not divulging everything it knows. As a testament to that statement, it didn't allow BuzzFeed to take a look at the complaints firsthand, but that's more or less a reasonable restriction because of privacy concerns.

Uber does promise that it's working hard to "ensure passengers everywhere can get a safe, reliable ride," and there's no reason not to give the ride-hail company the benefit of the doubt.

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