fuel card fraud

Posted & filed under Carrier Connection.

If you were robbed every 1 in 10 times you fueled up, you may start to feel a little panicky at the pump. Shockingly, some sources estimate that fleets lose 5-10% of their fuel every year to fuel card fraud.

For many businesses, fuel card fraud is large enough to seriously stall operations. To prevent this tragedy, here are 4 ways thieves commit fuel card fraud and how to avoid them.


  1. Skimming and Shimming

What is skimming and shimming? Skimming and shimming is a new form of fuel card fraud that utilizes technology to steal information from carriers. By planting a device on a fuel pump terminal, thieves can collect credit card information from carriers.

Skimming collects information by a swipe terminal and shimming collects information by a credit card chip.

Tips for preventing skimming and shimming:

  • Inspect a terminal closely before swiping or inserting your card. If anything looks out of the ordinary, notify the attendants and try using a different fuel station.
  • If possible, use mobile apps to avoid using the pump terminal altogether.
  • If in doubt, pay inside for a safe alternative to the pump.


  1. Card Cloning

What is card cloning? By using a carrier’s fuel card information, scammers can create a fuel card copy for themselves and charge the carrier’s account. This form of fuel card fraud is particularly tragic as the damage is usually done by the time a carrier notices.

Tips for preventing card cloning:

  • If possible, assign a unique pin to each fuel card to add an additional layer of security.
  • Impose a dollar limit on fuel spend to trigger alerts for overspending by thieves.
  • Dispose of paperwork or properly password-protect documents containing sensitive information about your fuel cards.


  1. Account Takeover

What is an account takeover? An account takeover is the total override of your fuel card account for use by a thief. Typically, an account takeover occurs after a successful phishing attempt by a fraudster to commit fuel card fraud.

Tips for preventing an account takeover:

  • As a most significant rule, never give out your personal information online. If you are suspicious of a phishing attempt, try researching the source of a request to ensure they are a credible vendor.
  • Be wary of links that appear in emails from individuals you do not regularly correspond with. Try hovering over a link to check its destination if something seems suspicious.
  • Check your accounts regularly. Scammers can be clever, but if you are consistently checking your accounts for unusual activity, you can stop a problem before severe damage is done.

Fuel cards can be a fountain of savings, but you never want those savings to spill into the hands of a thief. By remaining vigilant and careful with your fuel cards, you can prevent significant fuel card fraud losses for your fleet.

The England Carrier Services (ECS) division offers various services for carriers ranging from maintenance to support. As ECS members, carriers have access to nationwide discounts on fuel and tires from dedicated team members committed to finding the best price. ECS also provides factoring services with benefits such as same-day funding to a bank account or fuel card. These options allow carriers the freedom to focus on growing their business while saving time and money.