Modus Alert: Fake Grab Driver Roaming SM North EDSA Alarms Victims

Be vigilant!
by | January 30, 2023

If you’re always booking a Grab and you’re automatically getting in the car without checking its details, this is a reminder to stay alert. Over the past few months, reports of a fake Grab driver have been circulating on the Internet. The stories are the same: He will pull up in his black Toyota Fortuner in front of waiting passengers at SM North EDSA and tell them he’s their Grab driver. Somehow, he will cancel the actual booking on their phone and persuade them to get in his car. But some Pinoys are smart enough to know when things are going wrong. Here’s what the fake Grab modus looks like:


Fake Grab modus near SM North EDSA?

Actress and events host Justine Peña recalled her scary experience of almost falling victim to what she believes is a modus. In a now-viral tweet, Peña says she was waiting for her ride at SM North EDSA when a car drove up to her and pretended to be from Grab.

“MODUS WARNING at SM North. While waiting for my ride, a driver pretends to be a grab. I’m on the phone looking like I’m calling a driver, and he rolls down the window pointing to his phone, briefly showing an app open. “Ma’am yung car niyo. Booking Po?'” she said in the tweet.

Peña, who is married to “Rosas” singer Nica del Rosario, declined the offer since her wife is supposed to pick her up. But the driver was insistent.

“He kept briefly showing his phone and saying “Yung booking niyo po,” all the while, looking really pleasant. Then he switched to “San kayo papunta” saying he’ll just bring me there,” said Peña.

She recalled that the vehicle was a black SUV with tinted windows but unfortunately, she didn’t catch the plate number.


Apparently, she wasn’t alone in her experience

Peña said a friend of hers also experienced the same thing while her Grab car was still 2 minutes away. “She thought it was an app glitch but had the sense to ask the sus car for booking details,” Peña added.

But what solidified everyone’s theory of the modus is the fact that it also happened to a group of guys early this month. Another Twitter user shared a link from Facebook about a similar incident. This time, the Facebook post had clear photos of the and details — it was a black Toyota Fortuner with plate number NGS 5176.

“Beware sa mga ganitong modus ang kapal ng mukha mo!!!,” it said.

According to the post, the black Toyota Fortuner drove up to a group of friends waiting for their Grab ride in SM North EDSA around 10 PM last January 7. The driver, who pretended to be from Grab, casually took the customer’s phone and canceled their official Grab booking. Since the driver knew where their drop-off was, the group of friends decided to get in the car.

The Grab booking rate was Php 259 but the driver immediately tried to haggle for Php 280. The Facebook post also said that when they were on their way, the driver insisted to be paid Php 300 immediately.

After disagreeing with the price and finding the driver sketchy, the passengers asked to be dropped off. While they were attempting to take photos of the rear plate number, the driver immediately drove off with the back door open.


More horror stories about the same black Toyota Fortuner

Clearly, the driver of the black Toyota Fortuner has made it his pastime to trick people into thinking he’s from Grab. More stories cropped up online from those he nearly victimized.

Never let a stranger take your phone.

He’s roaming Quezon City.

He’s mostly trying his luck in the SM North EDSA area.

Never let your guard down in public.

Aside from faking being a Grab driver, the car has also been repeatedly posted online for various driving violations like cutting off a car at an intersection and knocking off a motorcycle.


Netizens ask Grab for help

Concerned citizens have raised the issue with Grab who reviewed their record and confirmed that the black Toyota Fortuner is not registered with the company. Grab also reminded their customers to check if the plate number and vehicle details match the one on the app before they get in a car. And if people encounter other incidents like these, Grab encouraged everyone to report them.


How to avoid being a victim to a fake Grab modus


First of all, always be vigilant when you’re outside. Be aware of your surroundings — from who you’re standing next to to the make and model of the vehicles you get into. It’s not being paranoid, you’re simply making sure you’re safe from any incident. Because at this point, faith in humanity isn’t going to cut it.

Part of being vigilant is being alert and making sure you’re getting in the proper vehicle if you booked one. Check if it’s the same car with the same plate number indicated on your app. Do not get in if anything is different (e.g. different model or different plate number) or if you feel unsafe at all. The first thing you should hear from your driver is the confirmation of your name and if they don’t tell you, ask for their name instead so you can check if it matches with the app.

Lastly, if you’re going home late, make sure to let someone know where you are. Share your ride-sharing details with your friends or turn on the location tag so your family is able to track you until you get home safely.


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This article was republished with permission from Minor edits have been made for

Kyzia spends most of her time capturing the world around her through photos, paragraphs, and playlists. She is constantly on the hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and a great paperback thriller to pair with it.

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