Fuel cards are one of the most important innovations in the transport sector and they have revolutionized the way businesses manage their fleets. A fuelcard allows drivers to fuel up at any time and they don’t need to keep receipts to submit to the finance department later or wait for a long time before being reimbursed their money.
But, as UK fuel cards become more popular, criminals have started to target them for all manner of frauds. Some wrong ways a fuel card can be misused include when it is used to pay for vehicles not belonging to a company’s fleet. Another trick is where hackers use devices called card skimmers to steal data from the card which they then use to commit other felonies.
Your company could be losing tens of thousands of pounds every year paying for non-fleet fuel expenses or criminal activities. In this article, we tell you several useful strategies that if you implement in your company, will help you nip fuel fraud in the bud and save your business money.
Tips to stop fuel fraud
Make Your Drivers or Employees Your Allies
For your fuel fraud prevention program to be successful, you should treat your drivers as allies and not foes. You don’t want to be in a situation where you blame your employees and drivers for fuel fraud, more so if you have no evidence to back up the accusations.
Doing this not only antagonizes drivers that have worked loyally for your company for years, but it may also result in pushing workers who may have made honest mistakes. Explain to drivers how fraud involving the company hurts its bottom line. This way, drivers will be more likely to understand the seriousness of the matter. Once you have made them understand why it is important, they will want to be your ally and work to prevent your business from fraud.
Understand Fuel Fraud Tricks
The first thing you need to do before you stop fuel fraud is to understand how it works. This way, you will be able to teach your drivers how to understand one. Below are some scenarios of fraud involving fuel cards.
- Drivers using the card to pay for fuel expenses of non-fleet cars
- Drivers purchasing drinks and food with the fuel card
- Drivers not taking care and realizing that the automated system made an error, for example charging twice
- Drivers using the fuelcard when they are not on duty
- Hackers place skimming devices on a fuel pump and lift the card’s data.
How to Prevent Fuel Card Fraud
One way to nab fuel fraud committed by your drivers is to always be vigilant and report any suspicious activity. Make sure these incidents are swiftly investigated and report red flags. As a fleet manager, you should know the exact amount each vehicle uses per day, weekly, or monthly. This information enables you to know how much each driver has used and the amount that they are expected to charge on the fuelcard.
You also want to be routinely auditing every fuel card transaction. Analyse the amount that was charged previously and then compare it with what they are charging now. The other tip that will come in handy is limiting the daily number of charges. You also want to put a ceiling on the daily purchase figure and also the maximum gallons a driver can fill up in one transaction. Finally, you can also choose a fuelcard that restricts drivers from purchasing only a certain type of fuel, for example, petrol.
And while you cannot stop hackers from installing skimming devices on pump stations, you can train your drivers about these tricks so they know what to look for when fueling up. Advise drivers to only use well-lit stations when gassing up and always ensure that the card is directly in front of a gas station attendant.
Also, drivers need to be cautious and ensure the pump has security cameras closely monitored to enhance safety.
Other Tips for keeping UK fuels card safe:
- They should always lock their vehicles and carry any vital documents like fuel cards when leaving their vehicle. That is because scammers know just where to get these documents if left in the car.
- Never leave their vehicle’s keys to the car’s deposit. Also, they should never leave it with a facility’s service personnel.
- Drivers should plan their stopovers before leaving and stop only at reliable parking lots that other drivers consider to be safe.
- Keep cards and documents with them when resting in their vehicles. Also, they should remember to always lock their cars from the inside.
- Never underestimate any burglary signs or visits to the car by a third party. Report the incident immediately to their seniors even if it appears nothing has been stolen. The fraudster might have easily copied the data from their magnetic strip.
- Before setting off, drivers should learn to always check if they have a card always. Someone may have broken into a vehicle but not stolen a fuelcard. They are merely replaced to delay detecting and reporting the theft.
Technology has enabled road users to transact and travel much more easily along their journeys. Thanks to the invention of the UK fuels card, drivers don’t need to travel with wads of cash to pay for fuel while on transit. Fuel cards give travellers greater peace of mind knowing that they can take on any kind of unexpected expenses.
But criminals are never left behind as they are constantly planning how to steal from travellers and companies. Drivers must be properly trained on protecting themselves from card fraud tricks like PIN theft, cloning, cybercrime, and card skimming.
But the drivers aren’t the only ones at risk. Even corporate fleets and people with fleet cards must be vigilant at all times. This article has revealed threats and crimes drivers are at the greatest risk of, as well as measures they can take to protect themselves.