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Commercial fleet safety: Train employees to recognize fraudulent activity

May 16, 2024

Whether you operate a small commercial fleet or manage a large-scale fleet operation, the risk of fraudulent activities, both physical and digital, threatens both your bottom line and your company’s reputation. To mitigate these risks effectively, implement strategic training programs for your employees to help  spread awareness and give them the tools to spot danger.

Understanding the risks of fraud

Fraudulent activities within commercial fleets can take on various forms, including fuel card misuse, unauthorized purchases, and theft of goods or service. These activities not only result in financial losses but also undermine the trust and credibility of your business. Recognizing the potential vulnerabilities is the first step towards creating effective countermeasures.

Fuel card fraud prevention strategies

Fuel card fraud is a significant concern for fleet managers, given the widespread use of fuel cards for purchasing fuel and other services. By educating your employees about the common tactics used by perpetrators, you can guide them to identify and report suspicious transactions as soon as they arise.

Training should cover topics such as:

  • Card security measures: Educate your employees on the importance of securing fuel cards and maintaining confidentiality regarding card details.
  • Transaction monitoring: Teach employees to monitor fuel card transactions regularly and to report any discrepancies or unauthorized purchases immediately.
  • Verification procedures: Consider implementing a procedure for verifying fuel card transactions, such as requiring the drivers to provide odometer readings or vehicle identification numbers for each transaction.

Learn how to identify red flags

Effective fraud prevention hinges on the ability to recognize warning signs and take proactive measures. Train your employees to be vigilant and to watch out for suspicious activities both on the road and at fueling stations. Some common red flags to be aware of include:

  • Unusual purchases: Transactions that deviate from typical purchasing patterns, such as large or frequent fuel purchases outside of regular routes.
  • Multiple authorizations: Instances where multiple transactions are authorized within a short period, potentially indicating card skimming or unauthorized use.
  • Unusual behavior: Observing suspicious driver behavior such as drivers attempting to conceal transactions should raise immediate concerns.

Join forces in combating fraud and theft

Preventing fuel card theft within your commercial fleet requires a collaborative approach involving all stakeholders. Encourage open communication channels between drivers, fleet managers, and administrative staff to facilitate reporting suspicious activities and implementing corrective measures.

Regular meetings and training sessions can serve as a discussion forum, where employees can share best practices, insights, and address emerging threats. By encouraging transparency and accountability, you can strengthen your organization’s resilience against fraud or theft.

Leverage available technological solutions

Emerging technologies provide fleet managers with great fraud prevention and detection tools. Telematics tools, as one example, are equipped with features such as real-time transaction monitoring, GPS tracking, and alerts. Telematics can significantly enhance a fleet manager’s ability to identify and respond to potential fraud threats.

Data provides valuable insights into purchasing patterns, allowing the detection of suspicious circumstances where you can flag fraudulent activity before it escalates. Investing in security measures demonstrates a commitment to safeguarding your business from bad actors and will instill confidence in your employees, allowing them to perform their jobs  in a safe and secure atmosphere. 

Stay compliant with regulatory requirements

In addition to internal policies and procedures, fleet managers oversee their business’s compliance with all relevant industry regulations and fraud prevention and security standards. Pay attention to legislative changes and developments in industry guidelines to ensure that your fraud prevention measures remain effective and up-to-date.

Regular audits and assessments help identify areas for improvement and keep your organization in full compliance. By prioritizing compliance and adherence to best practices, you can reduce potential liabilities associated with fraud and avoid legal repercussions.

Training your commercial fleet employees to keep your business safe from fraud and theft requires a multi-level proactive strategy that includes collaboration with your team, secure preventative measures, and ongoing vigilance. By educating your workforce to identify red flags and use available technology, you can fortify your defenses against fraud and continue to protect your commercial fleet.

Choose a fleet card that comes with built-in security features

WEX fleet cards offer a range of features to help optimize your business and protect your transactions. 

  • Enhanced security: Fleet cards offer enhanced protection against fraudulent transactions as compared to traditional payment methods like cash or checks and allow you to set spending controls specific to each driver.
  • Real-time tracking: Get real-time visibility into purchases and expenses, and monitor transactions as they occur. This level of oversight enables quick detection of suspicious activity.
  • Widely available acceptance: By using a trusted fleet card with a broad acceptance network, you reduce the need for drivers to carry multiple payment methods, minimizing the risk of exposing sensitive financial information through various channels. In fact, WEX fleet cards are accepted at 95% of U.S. fuel stations and 45,000 service locations, making them flexible and convenient payment choices.
  • Contactless payments: Many fleet cards now support contactless payment options, allowing for secure and convenient transactions without the need to physically swipe or insert the card. Contactless payments not only streamline the purchasing process but also reduce the risk of card skimming and other forms of physical tampering that can compromise card security.
  • Comprehensive expense management: Easily identify potential areas for cost optimization, and detect any irregularities that may indicate security breaches or fraudulent activity. These features allow you to proactively manage financial resources while maintaining a high level of security across all transactions.
  • Data analytics and reporting: Use fleet card data insights to make informed decisions, strengthen cybersecurity measures, and continuously improve overall fleet management practices.

Learn more on how to better manage your commercial fleet:

All fleet cards are not the same, and different types of fuel cards suit the needs of different kinds and sizes of businesses. View WEX’s fleet card comparison chart to see which fleet fuel card is right for you. 

Apply for a fleet card today!

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