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Preventing Credit Card Fraud on the Road

Posted October 23, 2017

by reports that most credit card fraud occurs in the United States. A 2015 research note from Barclays states that the U.S. is responsible for 47 percent of the world’s card fraud despite only accounting for 24 percent of total worldwide card volume. Now, it is 2017 and we are more concerned about identity and credit card theft than ever before. Technology has driven innovation but it has also driven fraud, and the trucking industry is more vulnerable than ever. Fleet Managers across the nation are relying on technology in preventing fraud in an industry that is always on the move. With OTR systems in place for fuel management and fleet payment solutions, companies like EFS are vigilant in addressing the potential of credit card fraud in the transportation and logistics arena.

What can a driver do to prevent everyday credit card fraud?

Although identity theft can be more complicated, credit card fraud happens every day with what seems like very little effort. Fraud might be the result of physical theft or information theft from billing and bank statements. It can come from a dishonest customer service representative stealing the card information by taking a photo or writing it down. Often times this information is sold and seemingly impossible to track especially for a driver in the trucking and logistics industry where travel is the job. There are also tools that thieves can employ to capture credit information. Over the last several years retailers and authorities have discovered a device called the skimmer. These skimmers can easily capture credit, debit, and fuel card information all in the swipe of the card.

Skimmers are particularly common at fueling stations across the country. They are easily applied in the form of a magnetic strip reader to the existing payment terminal. Some criminals will place a fake keypad over the existing keypad in order to capture the PIN directly. Others will place a camera near the fake device in order to record the PIN as it is entered. For fleet drivers and managers, fueling a vehicle is second nature and not something they want to worry about. Fortunately, there are easy considerations that can provide some safety each time you fuel up.

Tampering: Check for obvious signs of tampering. Look at the card reader and the keypad for anything that does not look right. Compare the payment device to the one next to you at the pump.

Test it: If the device looks suspicious, try to remove it physically. It there is no movement, or it has a solid construction, there is probably not an issue.

Be vigilant: Skimmers are most often installed in areas that are not monitored or are busy traffic areas. That is why fueling stations and fleets are at most risk. Fuel pumps provide a more secure and easier location to install malicious hardware. Be aware and cautious every time you use a fuel pump. Hide your PIN whenever it is required. Use an EMV chip that has authorization on the card without transmitting personal data.

Fleet Cards: Use trackable fuel cards whenever possible in order to control card activity and protect against fraud.

While U.S. credit card fraud is on the rise, there is some good news. As fueling technology and fleet management solutions become more robust, companies like EFS are making it harder for criminals to steal vital data. EFS is specifically vigilant at maintaining control and transparency on all fuel transactions giving carriers control while enhancing functionality and usability. EFS is helping fleet managers better maintain and control time-sensitive employee or contractor payment needs anytime from their mobile device. These devices and other fleet payment solutions give fleet management secure access to perform critical functions in real-time. Actions like authorization for check cashing or payments, performing overrides and tracking transactions in real-time are critical for both the drivers and the fleet managers in avoiding fraudulent transactions. With these technologies in place, there is never a question of where or how the card is being used.

What can a driver do to keep fuel payment systems safe?

  • Don’t give your fuel card account number to anyone on the phone.
  • Carry your fleet card and fuel card separately from your wallet. It can minimize your losses if someone steals your wallet. And carry only the card you need for that trip.
  • During a transaction, keep your eye on your fuel card. Make sure you get it back before you walk away from the fueling station.
  • Never sign a blank receipt. Draw a line through any blank spaces above the total.
  • Save your receipts to compare with your statement or provide to your fleet management representative.
  • Open your bills promptly — or check them online often — and reconcile them with the purchases you’ve made. Fleet Management can do the same, and provide support in fleet payment area if you are not directly responsible.
  • Report any questionable charges to the fuel card issuer or fleet manager.
  • Notify your fuel card issuer or fleet management company if your address changes.
  • Don’t write your fleet card or fuel card account number on the outside of an envelope.

In an ongoing effort to mitigate fraud, fleet management companies like EFS also provide powerful card management functionality including access to real-time credit balances and limits, along with the ability to change the card status to active/inactive/on-hold immediately in case of suspicious activity. So, while credit card fraud seems to be pervasive, there are systems and electronic payment solutions in place that can help keep companies and fleet managers feeling more confident and safe.

Powerful security and control will keep your fleet moving!



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