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Hit with fake user accounts and phantom bookings, Ryde makes police report

SINGAPORE — Homegrown firm Ryde, known for its carpooling mobile application, has lodged a police report after being hit with fake user accounts and phantom bookings that, it said, caused its drivers to suffer an income loss of more than S$50,000.

Ryde said that in mid-May, it received a “large number of feedback from drivers through email and social media platforms” regarding fake rider accounts and phantom bookings for its RydeX private-hire car service.

Ryde said that in mid-May, it received a “large number of feedback from drivers through email and social media platforms” regarding fake rider accounts and phantom bookings for its RydeX private-hire car service.

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SINGAPORE — Homegrown firm Ryde, known for its carpooling mobile application, has lodged a police report after being hit with fake user accounts and phantom bookings that, it said, caused its drivers to suffer an income loss of more than S$50,000.

Its investigations later found “compelling digital evidence” that point to three IP addresses as the sources of the fake accounts, Ryde said, claiming that one of these belonged to rival ride-sharing firm Grab. Grab told TODAY that it is investigating the matter. 

In a statement issued on Thursday (June 28), Ryde said that in mid-May, it received a "large number of feedback from drivers through email and social media platforms" regarding fake rider accounts and phantom bookings for its RydeX private-hire car service.

These cases have grown over the six weeks after that, with close to 300 fake accounts and 2,000 phantom bookings created.

It also alleged that the majority of the fake accounts and phantom bookings originated from two office buildings: One is Midview City located on Sin Ming Lane, and the other is Herencia in the River Valley district. Grab's office is located at Midview City.

Ryde said: "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."

Pointing out that the fake accounts and phantom bookings have breached the firm's terms of use, Ryde said that it does not "condone such acts of misrepresentation that can threaten the livelihood of drivers".

Aside from making a police report, Ryde has notified the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore and the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

In response to media queries, the police confirmed that a report has been lodged, while LTA said it has been informed by Ryde about the matter.

To ensure its drivers do not suffer from any further income loss due to the fake accounts and phantom bookings, Ryde has put interim measures in place, such as conducting user audits to eliminate the fake accounts, and informing drivers to alert the firm when such incidents occur.

It added that it will monitor the situation closely and co-operate with the authorities to "put a stop to phantom bookings".

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