Protect Your Fleet From Fuel Card Fraud

Written by: Simon Pavey, Last updated:29th April 2022

Preventing fuel card fraud

Fuel fraud is one of the biggest risks that fleet managers face during their operations. It is important for crimes of this nature to be prevented; fleets are already suffering due to increased fuel costs, so losing money to fraud could be catastrophic.

What is fuel fraud?

Fuel fraud encompasses a number of different crimes, but they all take advantage of a fleet’s fuel usage. Even though using a fuel card is generally safer for fleets, criminals can still take advantage of them.

  • Drivers can use automatic pumps to take fuel from the tank of the vehicle, then fill up again.
  • Drivers can fill up a separate container with fuel at the same time as filling up their company vehicle and charge it to their fuel card.
  • Drivers can work with cashiers to commit fraud. By asking that an inflated amount be charged to the fuel card, the cashier can then give the excess amount to the driver in cash.

These examples of fuel card fraud are often easily spotted as the prices on your scheduled invoices will be inflated beyond the expected amount. However, spotting fraud after the fact often means it is too late.

How to stop fuel card fraud

A number of simple steps can be taken when setting up your fuel card accounts to prevent yourself from being victimised by fraudsters.

  • Perhaps the most obvious security measure is setting up a separate PIN for each fuel card that only the holder knows. That way, you can be certain that the holder has been misusing their card if fraud is detected.
  • On a similar note, assign a fuel card to a single driver and vehicle. Sharing fuel cards is not good practice as it becomes much harder to keep track of who purchased fuel for which vehicle at a specific time – fuel fraud can easily slip through unnoticed that way.
  • Setting a limit on your fuel cards are a great way to prevent fraud. These limits can dictate how much can be spent per day, or precisely which fuel type is allowed to be bought with the card.

Preventing external fuel fraud

Of course, not all fuel fraud is committed by your employers. However, fuel providers such as BP have steps in place to monitor transactions and detect unusual behaviour. This includes sophisticated CCTV coverage on site, a dedicated and on hand expert fraud team, multiple anti-fraud checks on every transaction and alerts to quickly find out when a card is misused, based on parameters set by fleet managers.

Despite these efforts, it’s imperative that drivers are educated on how to avoid Fuel Card fraud so BP have collated 10 tips to help you protect your company and your drivers.

  1. When leaving the vehicle, always lock it and take documents including the fuel cards with you as criminals know the perfect hiding places in which to look for valuable things
  2. Never leave the keys to your vehicle in deposit or with service personnel of a facility you visit
  3. Plan your stopovers before you leave and make sure you stop at reliable parking lots, considered by drivers as safe
  4. When resting in your vehicle, keep the documents and the cards with you, and lock your vehicle from the inside
  5. Do not underestimate any signs of burglary or third party visits to the vehicle. Even if nothing has been stolen, report this incident immediately to your company! In this situation, the data from the magnetic strip of your card could have been copied
  6. Before setting off, check if you have YOUR card as often, when a vehicle is broken into, cards are not stolen, they are only replaced, which is intended to delay the detection and reporting of the theft
  7. Stay alert! Pay attention to whether someone is watching you or the vehicle during a stopover, trying to make contact in an intrusive way or asking about the route
  8. If someone tries to persuade you to sell the card or make it available for the purpose of scanning data from the magnetic strip, please report it to your company. Such information will also be extremely valuable for BP, especially if it took place in car parks or in the vicinity of service stations
  9. Protect the PIN code for your card and don’t write it down!
  10. If a driver forgets their PIN code, you can change it online and the update will take about 30 minutes

If you want to start saving your diesel & petrol bills, then look no further than Fuel Card Services. We help over 50,000 customers make smart decisions around paying for fuel by offering a number of various branded fuel cards.

Get in touch today and one of our dedicated account managers will find the best deals for your business.