A few days ago, I was ranting about Uber’s service and how drivers now engage in fraudulent activities to scam riders. Riders are made up to pay three times the regular fare and it appears Uber isn’t doing anything about this. I’ve reported several fraudulent trips over these last few weeks and it’s getting rather too much.
It turns out that Uber drivers actually use a certain app to inflate riders’ fare by following a fake GPS route. As a partner with Uber, I realized I couldn’t even run the partner app on my jailbroken iPhone (even though there’s a way to bypass this). This is to prevent this kind of fraudulent activities.
On Android, however, you can still do these things without even rooting your device.
Lockito: The Fake GPS Itinerary App Uber Drivers Use
My wife had a chat with a Taxify driver yesterday and they spoke at length. He’s registered with Uber too and he explained how Uber Drivers now use a certain app to create fake GPS routes to fool the Uber driver app.
I checked the Play Store, installed the app and was surprised at what I saw. To use the app, your phone doesn’t even need to be rooted. All you need to do is:
– Enable Developer Options by tapping on Build Number 7 Times from the settings
– Enable Mock Location from Developer Options
With this, the drivers can now use Lockito to create a fake GPS route.
How Lockito works
When this app is first launched, you will be required to enable Mock Location from Developer Options if you haven’t. You now have to add a GPS Itinerary. You first need to tap and hold your present location to set the start point. You now have to tap and hold several locations on the map to set waypoints. These waypoints are marked purple. These are points where the trip would be routed through.
You can select as many waypoints as you wish to create a haphazard route. Then finally tap and hold the supposed destination. Hit the Play the on at the top to start following the fake route.
This is what these drivers do to make riders pay more than they should.
What Uber should do
It’s surprising that this kind of fraudulent activity is being perpetrated by drivers right under Uber’s nose. Talking with the Taxify driver, he said that particular app doesn’t work with Taxify. Since root access isn’t really required to make this work, Uber should at least enable Mock Location detection in their Android Partner app.
If Uber takes the protection of its customers seriously and wants the integrity of the company untainted, this GPS app and similar popular ones can be automatically detected by their package name within Uber Partner app. With this, the Partner app may be programmed not to run when such package names are detected.
Just a word of advice, be sure to check the route the next time you smell something fishy on your trip.