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Prevent fuel card fraud with these three simple tips

Prevent fuel card fraud with these three simple tips

December 6, 2023

Fuel card fraud is a common concern for fleet managers. That’s because companies face myriad 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 in order 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. With a thoughtful rollout, fleet managers can avoid alienating drivers with these technologies. When the technology is used punitively, drivers can become fearful of making mistakes, and loyal employees can feel defensive. Used in a direct and straightforward manner and with accompanying communication, technology can help build trust and empower drivers to become allies in the fight against fuel card fraud. In this article we’ll cover some ways fleet managers can team up with drivers and use technology to prevent fuel card fraud.

Tip #1: Assume the best of your drivers

Probably the best advice we can give fleet managers is to assume the best from 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 maintain a driver’s trust is assuming the best of them and avoiding making false accusations.

Tip #2: 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 engaged 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.

Tip #3: 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.

If you suspect internal fuel card fraud is occurring in your organization, please see our blog on How to combat fuel theft and what to do if it happens.

Fraud is on the rise: prepare your employees for how to prevent fraud

Fraudulent attacks, especially cyber-attacks, are on the rise and remain a prevalent threat to businesses and individuals. In 2023 the most common form of fraud was fraudsters using “synthetic identities” to perpetrate their fraud. Synthetic identity fraud involves a combination of stolen and manufactured personal data to create an amalgam identity to steal from victims. Because fraud has become so commonplace, it is now more critical than ever that you review your data security practices. The following best practices can be used to ensure the security of your accounts:

  • Be skeptical of calls and emails – contact customer support if you receive a suspicious call or email from someone posing as a customer service representative
  • Limit the information you share – never give out passwords or security information over the phone or through email
  • Never click on links or attachments from an unfamiliar source – always hover over the sender address prior to clicking on an email to confirm the legitimacy of the sender
  • Keep your anti-virus software and firewall protections up-to-date

Remain vigilant, review your transactions regularly, and if you receive a questionable phone call or email, hang up and call the number on the back of your card before divulging any account information.

Your business is important to us and we remain dedicated to providing the protection and/customer service you deserve.

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!

Editorial note: This article was originally published on October 31, 2019, and has been updated for this publication.

Fleet financials
Utility Fleet Professional

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