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    Business fuel card fraud prevention tips

    The usage of business fuel card services in the fleet industry has grown massively in the past few years. Unfortunately, in conjunction with this, business fuel card fraud is also very much increasing. There have been significant increases in the activity of fuel fraudsters which is why your business should be considering fraud prevention strategies to address the issues of misuse, slippage on non-fuel items, and stolen or skimmed cards.

    Fuel card misuse

    Misuse of a company fuel card is most likely to arise from an employee who will attempt to fill a personal vehicle or friend’s vehicle using their business fuel card. Without regular monitoring of fuelling accounts this can be very hard to detect.

    Fuel card slippage

    Slippage is a term to describe when employees use their fuel card to purchase additional non-fuel items within a petrol station. This can often happen where food and drink may be purchased at the same time, but shouldn’t really be attributed to the company costs.

    Third party fraud

    In addition to this there is also the rising problem of stolen or skimmed cards. Shell have reported that 25% of fleet managers say that fuel card details get stolen in the post whilst on the way to the customer and get into the wrong hands. Skimming of cards is often easily done at a petrol station whereby a device can ‘skim’ your card details for fraudulent use later. Often the fraudster will also place a camera nearby to record the PIN that is entered with the card so that they can either make counterfeit cards or use the details to make purchases online.

    Tips on preventing fraud

    There are several controls that you can put in place to prevent business fuel card fraud, whether via your employees or third parties. Many business fuel card systems can gather in-depth data on card usage whereby unusual behaviour can be flagged, as well as implementing preventative methods. You should also consider setting spend limits based on normal usage, frequency of purchase and possibly even the hours of purchase.

    Other basic fraud prevention tips on business fuel cards can include:

    Use business fuel cards with PINs

    Only utilise those cards that require PINs and prompts before the driver can use a fuel pump. This can help to avoid fraud from misuse and stolen cards.

    Check the pump and ATM attached

    Only use those pumps with PIN keypad. Whilst technologies have become more sophisticated, it is always a good idea to check and look around the pump before fuelling. Many newer pumps have also implemented security tracking tape which identifies and tracks the reasons a dispenser door is opened. If it appears to have been tampered with then your drivers should avoid using it. By setting a limit on driver’s fuel you will quickly identify if a card has been skimmed and reduce potential costs to the business.

    Distribute one card per employee

    Do not share cards, which some smaller businesses will often do. This increases the opportunity for fraud and makes it much harder to measure and detect. Ensure each of your fleet drivers have their own business fuel card with their own limitations on.

    Analyse trip reports v fuel purchased

    As a fleet manager, you should be aware of the fuel consumption of the vehicles on your schedule. Regular comparisons of the miles driven versus the fuel consumption should be carried out to ensure fraud is not taking place. Keeping an eye on the frequency of fill ups is important as multiple stops in one day can highlight something outside of the norm happening.

    Educate your drivers

    Fleet drivers should be aware of the limitations of spend on their cards, the fact that additional purchases are not tolerated. Drivers should be educated in the consequences of fuel card fraud and the fact it is illegal as well as the impact on the business and financial losses relating to job security. It is also wise to educate your drivers in terms of recommending they fill up on pumps closer to the store front which are less likely to have been tampered with and what to look out for, such as unexplained spaces around the card reader.

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