Dramatic rise in food delivery apps increased GPS spoofing

Anne Freer | September 1, 2022

App Business

The use and adoption of food delivery apps accelerated dramatically throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The food delivery market has since grown three-fold since 2017 to a market size of $150 billion worldwide. 

However, that has made food delivery apps prime targets of fraud finds new research from mobile identity company Incognia.

The Mobile App Fraud Insights Report – Food Delivery found a high volume of location spoofing on food delivery driver apps. 

Apps are also registering multiple accounts on both driver and consumer apps which indicates that drivers and users are abusing promotional offers. 

“While food delivery apps have skyrocketed in popularity, fraudsters are manipulating food delivery driver apps with location-related fraud tactics,” said André Ferraz, founder and CEO of Incognia. “Fraudsters are using location spoofing to accept deliveries from busy locations, charge for deliveries that were not made, and report longer rides. The implementation of location intelligence in the mobile apps can verify a driver’s real-time location and detect location spoofing, to prevent location-based fraud.”

Incognia found 11.9 million location events classified as GPS spoofing on food delivery apps and 80,000 devices generating locations with GPS spoofing on these apps.

The rate of location spoofing on food delivery driver apps was 6.5x higher than other types of apps. 

Some 2.6% of devices registered multiple driver accounts versus 1.9% of multiple consumer accounts.

The impact of location spoofing is manifold but generally leads to revenue loss, financial theft and a poorer customer experience. It also raises trust and safety issues leading to brand reputation damage in the long run.

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