SINGAPORE: Carpooling and mobility app Ryde has lodged a police report after more than 300 fake accounts and more than 2,000 “phantom" bookings were created on its platform since mid-May.
In a statement, the local firm said it received a large amount of feedback from drivers through email and social media regarding fake rider accounts and “phantom” trip bookings on its private-hire car service RydeX app.
The resulting loss of income to drivers amounted to more than S$50,000, said Ryde.
Following its own investigations, the company said it found “compelling digital evidence” that pointed to certain IP addresses.
RydeX driver Tommy Lim, 35, said he was tricked seven times on Wednesday (Jun 27), arriving at locations only to find that the passengers were not there.
"When I messaged them, there was no reply. Some customers appeared online, but they didn’t reply. Even when I called them, no answer.
"I feel angry, definitely, because we are running around, and then it turns out to be an empty booking."
The company said it does not condone such acts of misrepresentation that can threaten the livelihood of drivers, and added that it would take the necessary steps to ensure that drivers who depend on the platform for their income were not affected.
"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," said Ryde.
The company lodged a police report on Tuesday against the attacks and has notified the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore and the Land Transport Authority.
As an interim measure, Ryde has also been conducting user audits to eliminate the fake accounts and has also informed their drivers to look out for and report the incidents.
The company said it would continue to monitor the situation closely and cooperate with authorities to put a stop to "phantom bookings".
In response to Channel NewsAsia's queries, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said: "LTA has been informed by Ryde of this issue, and its lodging of a police report."
Ryde started off with the launch of carpooling services in 2015, and moved into the private-hire car service space earlier this year with the RydeX app.