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Fleet card fraud

Four tips that will help you to protect your fleet


March 15, 2017
by Josh Ferguson

Image: Thinkstock

Josh Ferguson is national sales manager, commercial fleet, Shell Canada

From the February 2017 print edition

Credit card fraud continues to rise despite increased security measures. In 2015, the Canadian Bankers Association reported that financial institutions reimbursed more than $700 million to Canadian credit card customers, representing the magnitude of criminal activity targeting card users today.

On top of looking for ways to boost operational efficiencies and reduce costs, fleet managers also have to be on the lookout for suspicious fleet card activity among their drivers.

Fortunately, advanced tools and technology such as online fleet card management programs offered by fuel card providers, ensure managers can see exactly when and how their drivers’ cards are being used—stopping fraudulent activity in its tracks.

To help protect your fleet against fraud, managers should consider the following four tips:

  • Hide your PIN. Although this tip may seem obvious, the Canadian Bankers Association states that one of the most important ways customers can prevent fraud is to create secure PINs and passwords. While the nature of fleet management means that sensitive information is regularly shared with drivers, drivers should take the security of their fuel card PIN code just as seriously as they do for personal cards. Which means drivers need to keep personal card information safely stored in their head and away from prying eyes. Also, consider obtaining a fuel card with built-in chip technology for added security.
  • Protect your tech. Don’t make life any easier for criminals. Beyond the obvious step of securing and shredding any documents with sensitive information, drivers should always ensure that electronic devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones remain locked and password-protected at all times.
  • Be alert at the pump. Encourage drivers to mind any signs of tampering at the pump (such as broken seals), and try to fill up at stations with good lighting and onsite security measures such as surveillance systems. This is a serious deterrent to fraud because of its success in identifying and, helping to potentially catch perpetrators.
  • Fuel card solutions. For fleet managers, hi-tech anti-fraud solutions can help to alleviate some of the pressure by allowing managers to focus, not only on matters of security, but on wider operational concerns. Fleet card programs such as Shell Canada’s, eTRACTM online card management program enables fraud preventative back-end measures. For example, the Shell Fleet Navigator CardTM can restrict usage based on geography (including high fraud areas), transaction value, product categories, and even specific days or times. In addition, managers can analyze transactions according to specific criteria – such as when, where and by whom a fuel card is used. Fleet managers can also receive personalized alerts if a transaction is attempted that does not comply with their corporate policy. Plus, a dedicated fraud team monitors transactions on a daily basis to flag any irregular behaviour.

The potential risks of fraud justify investment in driver training and a comprehensive fleet card program. Criminal tactics change and adapt which means reinforcing the benefits of hiding a fuel card PIN, password-protecting technology and being mindful at the pump is more important than ever. In addition to educating drivers on fraud, fleet managers should rely on their fuel card operators to help stay one step ahead of the game in minimizing the impact of criminal behaviour.