Fuel cards are probably one of the biggest innovations in the modern trucking industry that has completely revolutionized the way companies manage their fleets. Drivers with fuel cards can gas up their vehicles at any time without having to worry about submitting receipts or waiting for their company to reimburse them - which makes their life much easier.
Unfortunately, as fuel cards become more popular it is also becoming a target for criminals. Some common fuel card scams include using fuel cards for vehicles that aren't in the company's fleet to illegal card-skimming devices created by hackers.
Your company could potentially lose thousands of dollars every year to pay fuel expenses for non-fleet vehicles or criminal activity. Here are several helpful strategies you can start to implement in your company to prevent fuel card fraud.
Make Your Drivers Your Allies
You have to work with your drivers and not against them if you want your fuel card fraud prevention plan to be successful. The worst thing you can do is start blaming and accusing your drivers of fraud, especially if you can't back up the accusations with any evidence.
Not only will you probably anger the drivers who have been loyal to your company, but you'll also punish drivers who may have made a genuine mistake. You can help drivers start to understand the severity of the problem by explaining how fuel card fraud hurts the company. Once they know why it's important, they'll want to become an ally and work with your business to prevent fraud.
How Fuel Card Fraud Works
If you want to stop fuel card fraud, you should know what to look out for. Here are some common scenarios of fuel card fraud:
- Driver fills up the gas tank of non-fleet vehicles
- Driver purchases food and drinks with the gas card
- Driver is careless and doesn't realize the automated system charged twice or made a system error
- Driver uses the fuel card when they aren't working
- Hackers places a skimming device on one of the pumps and steals the card's information
How to Prevent Fuel Card Fraud
The best and most obvious way to catch the fuel card fraud committed by one of your drivers is to always be on the look out for suspicious activity. You should investigate these sorts of incidents and other red flags as soon as possible.
Fleet managers should also know exactly how much fuel each vehicles uses and the estimated cost. Based on that, you should also be able to calculate how much fuel a driver has used (approximately) and how much he or she is going to charge on the card.
Another great tactic is to routinely audit each fuel card transaction. Examine how much was charged in the past and compare it to what's happening now. To prevent fuel card frauds on a regular basis, you can also limit the number of charges per day, restrict the daily purchase amount and even the number of gallons the driver can buy per transaction. You can try to get a fuel card that limits the driver to getting only a specific type of fuel like diesel.
Although it's hard for you to stop criminals from using skimming devices, you can warn your drivers about them so they'll know what to look for the next time they're at a gas station. Advise them to only fill up the gas tank at well-lit stations and make sure the pump is in the direct view of the gas station clerk.
Drivers can also be cautious and check for security cameras to see if the pump they are using is continually monitored by gas station security.
Want to learn more about our fuel cards and how we help prevent fraud? Follow our blog for more information and please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We'll get back to you as soon as possible.