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TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Ryde drivers lose $50,000 to over 2,000 “phantom bookings”

300 fake accounts also came from 3 IP addresses, one of which is linked to Grabtaxi Pte Ltd.

Ride-hailing firm Ryde said its drivers reported several fake rider accounts and “phantom” RydeX (private-hire) trip bookings. According to a Facebook post, the cases have increased over the following six weeks, with close to 300 fake accounts and 2,000 “phantom bookings” created.

“This has caused disruption to drivers and the resulting loss of income borne by them has exceeded $50,000,” the company said.

After investigations, Ryde has found “compelling digital evidence” that point to IP addresses 119.73.221.76, 128.199.213.100, and 49.213.16.0 as the source of these accounts. Searches for the IP address pointed to Grabtaxi Pte Ltd., an entity in Australia, and OneAsiaHost.

Digital evidence indicates that a majority of these fake accounts and “phantom bookings” originated from locations in Midview City and The Herencia, it added.

“Such manipulations of the app have distressed affected drivers as their means of livelihood have been impacted. On top of causing drivers to lose money on fuel, these acts severely limit the drivers’ availability to take on more jobs as it sends them driving around in vain when they could have been picking up legitimate riders,” Ryde said.

The company said it is taking all necessary actions to ensure that drivers who depend on the platform for income are not adversely affected.

Moreover, the attacks are a breach of Ryde’s Terms of Use, Item No. 7 (use of Services to cause nuisance, annoyance, inconvenience or make fake bookings). “Ryde does not condone such acts of misrepresentation that threaten the livelihood of drivers,” it added.

As a result, Ryde has filed a police report on 26 June and notified the relevant authorities, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS), the National Private Hire Vehicles Association (NPHVA), and the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

As an interim measure, Ryde is conducting user audits to eliminate fake accounts and also informing drivers to report any incidents.  

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