Grab Indonesia is set to take legal action against an e-commerce platform called Grab Toko, which is—aside from assuming the name of the ride-hailing and delivery giant—also mired in a fraud case.
“Grab Indonesia does not know and is not related to the e-commerce platform and social media accounts under the name Grab Toko,” spokesperson Dewi Nuraini told KrASIA.
Grab Toko caught attention a few days ago when several customers complained on social media that they haven’t receive their orders for weeks. According to its website, Grab Toko is selling new Android smartphones and iPhones at “the best price,” well under the average market rate. The company has attracted a large amount of customers through digital, billboard, and TV ads.
A customer, who was contacted by KrASIA via Twitter, said that she lost more than IDR 24 million (USD 1,440). On December 28, she ordered two iPhone 12, which were offered for IDR 12 million (USD 864)—cheaper than the regular market price of IDR 14.8 million.
“When I checked the order status, it said that my items will be delivered after January 4, but I still haven’t received them,” she said, requesting not to reveal her name.
Her surprise turned into anger after Grab Toko on Wednesday uploaded a statement on its Instagram account, on behalf of the company’s managing director Yudha Manggala Putra, claiming that an unnamed investor embezzled the clients’ money and that it since reported them to the police.
“We have frozen all our bank accounts to prevent further loss,” the statement said. “We will refund our consumers’ money as soon as the police investigation is completed.” Shortly after, Grab Toko’s management went radio silent. Social media accounts and its website became inaccessible while its office, located in a co-working space in Jakarta, was emptied, as reported by CNBC Indonesia.
Although both Grab and Grab Toko made clear that they are not related, the similar name created the impression that the online shop is a part of the ecosystem. It fits Grab’s pattern in naming its services, such as GrabFood for food delivery and GrabRide for ride-hailing. Grab Indonesia therefore decided to take a legal action to protect its reputation.
“The Grab brand is registered and protected as intellectual property in accordance with the laws and regulations applicable in Indonesia,” Nuraini affirmed.