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Whether your business has two vehicles or they are above 200, you will need to decide on the method of paying for fuel. For most people, the preferred mode would be a debit card, credit card, or cash. But a fuel card may be the best option. Today, more and more businesses have realized the many benefits that fuel cards UK offer to companies. But paying with a fleet card is not all that rosy. These cards are prone to fraud. So how do you ensure that your drivers are not exposed? Read on to learn tried and tested tips for preventing fuel card fraud.
Don’t Work Against Your Drivers, But With Them
The no.1 mistake that supervisors make is beginning to accuse their drivers of being engaged in fraud. But sometimes, you could be accusing loyal drivers that have nothing to do with the theft of credit card information. Taking this route is a risky affair as it can irk loyal drivers who have worked so tirelessly for the company. Instead, make your drivers your allies in the fight against fuel card theft. Explain to them in no uncertain terms that you want to clean books and thorough understanding of the operations of your fleet, and this also includes fuel consumption.
Understand Fuel Card Fraud
After making your drivers your allies, the next thing you need to do is to understand the several ways through which fuel card fraud takes place. Only after knowing these will you be able to put measures that curb fuel card fraud. Some of the most common ways people abuse fuel cards UK include:
- Using a fuel card to fill up no-fleet cars. These may be their cars or another driver’s vehicle for charity or cash.
- Buying unauthorized items like food and drink with the card
- Carelessness on the part of the driver that leaves the card exposed
- An automated system double-charging the card
- Stealing card information. This might occur when a hacker secretly and illegally installs a skimming device at a pump. The hackers then use the information to commit various frauds.
Stopping Fuel Card Fraud Resulting from Driver Behavior
Having identified the sources of fuel card fraud, the next important thing is coming up with preventive strategies to curb the vice. The best tip is carefully and closely audit the fuel card expenditures of your vehicle activities. The clearest infractions occur in the areas or on the days you do not have a specific card-holding driver scheduled. If you notice these suspicious charges, you need to investigate them thoroughly.
It also pays to know the mileage that your vehicle gets and a rough estimate of fuel price. If you notice a daily charge for gas that exceeds the miles the traveled or scheduled, it is another red flag that should never go uninvestigated.
Your drivers should know that you always track these stats. This way, the drivers will know that any unusual transactions will be thoroughly checked and harsh consequences meted out on those found to be culpable. If, from your audits, you discover fuel card fraud, deal with it appropriately but don’t alienate your drivers. Emphasize to them that they are tasked with protecting fuel cards from misuse and fraud.
While it’s vital to have a culture of auditing transactions of your fuel card, the practice only unearths misdeeds that happened in the past. To help keep fraudulent activities at bay, it is important to ensure that your fuel card controls are configured properly for your operations.
Below are examples of controls you may set on fuel cards UK:
- Control the number of charges on a card per day and per card
- Put a ceiling on the maximum amount per day.
- Limit the amount of purchase per transaction
- Put a limit on the maximum number of gallons that a driver can fuel up per transaction
- Restrict the use of fuel cards UK to only fuel purchase and related products and services
- Set approved days of the week when drivers can use the card
These are just some of the restrictions you can make. The type of controls you put depends on your fleet, as well as the fuel card services offered by your card. While most drivers will likely abide by the rules, putting these restrictions in place help to deter the occasional driver that may think it is possible to sneak a transaction or two through the system.
Stopping Fuel Card Fraud from Skimming Gadgets
Card skimmers have become a worrying trend for hackers to steal information from fuel cards UK. The criminals remove the old card reader and then replace it with a false one that looks like the real card reader. While this installed device does not stop a transaction, the payment information on the magnetic strip is stolen and then used to pay for things online.
Train your drivers to understand that scammers are always targeting fuel cards and why it is vital that they protect their cards from skimmers. They need to always be on the lookout for suspicious activities that might make their cards compromised. You can ask them to fuel at petrol stations that are well-lit and manned with security cameras. This makes it more difficult for criminals to set up their card skimmers. And when they must fuel in a sketchy place with no other options, ask your drivers to stop at the pump that’s closest to the pump attendant and in direct view of the station staff.
It is important to realize that frauds involving fuel cards occur mainly because supervisors allow details to slip through the cracks. Drivers will easily notice if transaction reports are never reviewed and questioned. They may then feel that they can get away with these misdeeds. Monitoring your fuel cards for over-filling, double-charges, and non-fuel purchases can save you a lot of money. It also demonstrates to your drivers that fuel card integrity is incredibly important.