Fuel card fraud is a well-tread topic for fleet managers. That’s because companies face a myriad of internal and external threats when it comes to fraud. From third-party credit card skimmers to drivers fueling their spouse’s personal car, fleet managers must remain vigilant if they are to prevent substantive losses.
A number of technical solutions like WEX’s Clearview Analytics & Reporting and Telematics & GPS Fleet Tracking aid fleet managers with internal and external fraud prevention. However, without careful rollout, fleet managers run the risk of alienating drivers with these technologies. When the technology is used punitively, drivers can become fearful of making mistakes, and loyal employees can feel angry and defensive. Used with thought and communication, technology can help build trust and empower drivers to become allies in the fight against fuel card fraud. Here are a few ways fleet managers can team up with drivers and use technology to prevent fuel card fraud.
Assume the Best of Your Drivers
Probably the best advice we can give to fleet managers is to assume the best of your drivers. Mistakes happen. Use analytics and reporting to uncover spending anomalies at the pump, but don’t jump to conclusions that an anomaly means willful fraud. The overcharge could have a simple explanation. The easiest way to lose a driver’s trust is by assuming the worst and making false accusations.
Empower Drivers with “Insider” Knowledge
Knowledge is empowering, and shared knowledge can create an empowered team. Therefore, fleet managers should educate drivers on how fuel card fraud hurts every company stakeholder and even the industry at-large. Fleet managers should also explain the basics of fuel card analytics and reporting, including which metrics are being captured and why. If telematics and GPS tracking are in use, explain the reasoning behind their use as well. Fleet managers need to keep drivers on their side to successfully combat fuel card fraud. Insider knowledge provides drivers with a sense of ownership and responsibility. An empowered team can be the fleet manager’s most powerful ally in the fight against fuel card fraud.
Train Drivers on Identifying Fraud
If properly trained, drivers can help to spot and avoid fraudulent activities like fuel card skimmers. Here are some of the most common types of fuel card fraud that drivers should know about.
Common Types of Fuel Card Fraud:
- Skimming (external): a third-party alters a pump’s card reader with a device that is capable of illegally obtaining credit card and pin info.
- Stolen card or data (external): a fuel card or fuel card data is illegally obtained and exploited by a third party.
- Siphoning (external or internal): an employee or non-employee uses a hose or siphoning device to remove fuel from a company asset and placing it in a non-company vehicle or container.
- Misuse (internal): an employee uses a company fuel card to purchase fuel for a non-company asset.
- Slippage (internal): an employee uses a company fuel card to purchase non-fuel related items like snacks or souvenirs.
- Overfilling (internal): a fleet driver fills a side container after fueling fleet vehicle.
In order to remain one step ahead of criminals, fleet managers must work together with their drivers to prevent fuel card fraud. For more basics on combatting fuel card fraud, please read this insightful article by fleetfinanicals.com.
If you suspect internal fuel card fraud is occurring in your organization, please see our blog on Tips for Enforcing Proper Fuel Card Usage and Preventing Employee Theft.