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Gojek to suspend 120 drivers for allegedly using fake apps

Gojek’s rival Grab has also been affected by the spread of modified apps.

Gojek is set to suspend about 120 of its private-hire drivers in Singapore today for allegedly using modified versions of the Gojek app, The New Paper reported.

This is the ride-hailing giant’s latest move in an effort to stamp out fraud and the usage of modified versions of its app. In 2019, it introduced several security updates to its app, including the ability to detect fake GPS and modified apps.

The report said that the suspended drivers, who are expected to receive warnings and suspensions for at least a day, paid about USD 300 for modified versions of the ride-hailing app. The fake apps allowed drivers to sidestep Gojek’s verification process, fake their location, cancel jobs without any penalty, and even view private customer information, in some cases.

Gojek Singapore general manager Lien Choong Luen told The New Paper that the fake apps did not work and compromise the security and safety of both riders and drivers. “We have and will continue to take swift action against users of mod apps. We urge our driver-partners to join us in upholding a safe and honest Gojek community,” the executive added.

Gojek is currently working with relevant authorities on the matter, according to the report. The use of such apps is considered an offense under the Computer Misuse Act, and violators will face a fine of up to SGD 10,000, a jail sentence of up to seven years, or both.

Grab, Gojek’s archrival in the region, has also been affected by the proliferation of modified apps. In November 2019, Tech in Asia reported that modified versions of both of the companies’ apps were being peddled in Telegram groups.

Modified Gojek apps in Indonesia typically went for IDR 100,000 to  IDR 250,000 (USD 7 to USD 18) for one-time registration and IDR 50,000 to IDR 150,000  (USD 3.50 to USD 10.50) per month thereafter.

Fraudulent Grab apps tend to be more expensive at IDR 350,000 to IDR 600,000 (USD 25 to USD 43) for one-time registration and IDR 50,000 to IDR 200,000 (USD 3.50 to USD 14) per month afterward.

This article first appeared on Tech in Asia