In July last year, private-hire drivers from Grab and Gojek were caught hacking the two apps to cheat the system, and have since been penalised with warnings and suspensions.
The modified apps allow drivers to bypass verification, fake their location, cancel jobs without being penalised and view customer’s personal information.
Apparently, some people are actively advertising such hacking services on online forums and messaging apps.
One particular advertisement charged a monthly rate of S$350 for the Grab Driver app and S$200 for the Gojek app, according to The New Paper.
Both Grab and Gojek were aware of the app abuse and they view such driver behaviour as fraudulent.
In fact, modifying the apps to wilfully cancel rides and spoof locations is considered an offence under the Computer Misuse Act. If convicted, offenders can be fined up to S$10,000, jailed for up to three years, or both.
However, if the operator suffers loss that exceeds S$10,000 within a year of the offence, the offender may face harsher penalties — a fine of up to S$50,000, jail for up to seven years, or both.
Drivers Face Warnings And Suspensions
Yesterday (29 Jan), it was reported that Gojek will be suspending about 120 drivers who are guilty of using modified versions of their app.
They were given strict warnings and will be suspended for at least a day. Gojek assures that this move will not affect their services as the drivers only make up less than 1 per cent of their pool of drivers.
Lien Choong Luen, the general manager of Gojek Singapore, told Vulcan Post that such apps “pose a serious security risk to users.”
Gojek has tested these modified apps, and results revealed that they do not actually help to increase the number of jobs for drivers, or ensure that their acceptance rate won’t be affected after cancelling bookings — it only appears as such on the drivers’ phones.
According to The New Paper, these modified apps are sold by syndicates in Southeast Asia. They make money off these apps that don’t actually work, and private-hire drivers are blindly sharing about it on group chats.
Gojek stressed that “the use of mod apps is in direct violation of (their) driver services agreement and community guidelines.”
“We will continue to take swift action against any driver-partner found to use such apps. We urge our driver-partners to join us in upholding a safe and honest Gojek community,” it added.
Featured Image Credit: Vulcan Post