Uncertain Economy Leads to Rise in Company Fuel Theft

How companies can protect themselves from internal and external fraud 

It is no secret there has been an increase in fuel theft reported over the past few months.  With wildly fluctuating gas prices and an unstable economy, the temptation for thieves to steal or take advantage of company fuel cards is at an all time high.

Take for example the recent case where the Raleigh police in North Carolina charged a person with peddling cheap fill-ups at area stations with stolen fuel cards. According to the article in the Raleigh News & Observer on October 9, 2008 called “Cheap gas was too good to be true,” more than 300 people took advantage of the illicit gas business. The accused used the stolen fleet gas cards to fill up “customers” vehicles for $20 each. Another recent news example was in Lewisboro, New York’s local paper, Lewisboro Ledger on October 9, 2008 titled “Town employee arrested for theft.” The article stated a Lewisboro Town Highway department employee was arrested for identity theft after using other employees’ personal information to steal gasoline from High School fuel pumps.

In this time of economic uncertainty, what can companies do to protect themselves from incidence of fraud?

Investing in a comprehensive fleet fuel card is one way business owners can be proactive about theft prevention.  Unlike a gas card or a credit card or even cash, fleet cards have the ability to set internal controls, such as how much fuel can be purchased per vehicle, per day or even by mileage.  If a user tries to exceed this volume, the card is literally shut off.

“Comprehensive fleet cards require users to input a unique pin number in order to access funds.  In the unfortunate circumstance of the fleet gas card being stolen by an outsider, without knowing the unique pin number, the card is useless,” says Mike Noles President of FleetCards USA (www.fleetcardsusa.com), a fleet card industry expert that acts as a trusted advisor in matching fleet cards to small and medium sized businesses.  “Fleet fuel card programs can also instantly alert management of irregular or suspicious fuelling activity so action can be taken immediately to cancel the card.”

For more information on the benefits of fleet cards and to learn about the best fleet fuel card option for your company, please visit www.fleetcardsusa.com