Preventing Fleet Fuel Card Fraud (And Detecting It)
Every fleet owner who utilizes a fleet fuel card, like the Multi Service Fuel Card, does so because it makes their lives easier. There’s automated billing, detailed transaction reports and a variety of program offerings that save the owner money at the pump when their drivers fill up. But what if the drivers are fueling more than their rigs and are committing fuel card fraud? It happens and more often than not, the fraud comes in the case of one of the drivers using his or her card to purchase fuel for another driver, often in exchange for cash.
The ideal situation is to prevent the fraud before it happens, and that can be done using a few different methods.
- Require drivers to enter a personal identification number (PIN) and unit number before they are able to fuel – By doing this, all drivers will have to enter personal information prior to being able to get any fuel out of the pump. While a driver could conceivably just enter his or her PIN and unit number on another pump to fill up for another driver, this will call attention even more easily on a statement regarding who was responsible for the extra money spent on a fill up.
- Limit the amount of money that can be spent per day on fuel either with a daily limit or by pre-funding your fuel card – Limiting your drivers’ access to money might be the most effective way to prevent them from helping out other drivers on the road. If there’s only a set amount available to be spent, the driver will be unable to help fill up another truck on the road for fear of not being able to complete his or her route and ultimately losing money.
- Educate drivers on the consequences of fuel card fraud – Not only is it detrimental to the company for a driver to commit fraud, but committing fraud is illegal and can cause them to lose their jobs.
While it’s ideal to prevent the fraud before it happens, sometimes that just isn’t possible. The important thing is to catch it quickly if it happens, so you can do something about it. The key is to monitor your statements and know exactly what to look for to determine if your card is being used inappropriately.
- Keep an eye on frequency of fill-ups – If a driver stops multiple times in one day in one state, there’s a good chance something fishy is happening. Occasionally, a double billing can occur, so that could be the case, but that’s another issue that you would need to watch out for anyway.
- Pay attention to trip reports compared to number of gallons purchased – You know what kind of fuel efficiency your vehicles get. If you expect 5 miles per gallon from one of your truck and you see $150 spent on fuel, you better hope to see 750 or more miles driven. If you don’t, that’s a big red flag.
- Compare logs to fuel receipts – Sometimes a driver will not divulge all the information in the hopes that the payment will just get made without looking closely. Carefully examine all bills and statements and compare them to receipts to match everything up to ensure you’re paying the right amount.
The most important thing to keep in mind with fuel card fraud is to do everything possible to avoid it from happening, but failing that, is to be diligent in looking through every statement. If caught early, action can be taken and your organization can avoid costly ramifications.
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