Intelligent Fuel Management: Protect yourself at the pump

You're always concerned about your credit card when you make online purchases, pay in a restaurant, or go to an ATM. But credit card scams are becoming increasingly prevalent at petrol stations too. And while this has become more of a problem in the last couple of years many people don't recognise the signs.

Being scammed at the petrol pump may be easier than you think. Newspaper reports indicate that credit card fraud is on the rise. According to this News24 article, a petrol attendant in Cape Town faced criminal charges after allegedly cloning the credit cards of 58 customers. He was accused of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud, unlawful possession of a skimming device, amongst other things. The prosecutor in his case said that he had used the skimming device to obtain data from the magnetic strips on the cards so that he could make fraudulent copies. He then allegedly spent up to R24 000 at filling stations all over the Cape.

Consumers need to be cautious when they are filling up at the petrol station, and here are some pointers for keeping you safe.

Here are some tips for avoiding fuel card fraud at the petrol station

What to look for: Petrol attendants who you assume are changing the oil might not actually be doing this.

What to do: Get out of your vehicle so that you have a good view of the petrol attendant and can see what they are doing. Make sure that they have inserted the dipstick and are inspecting it correctly.

What to look for: Petrol attendants might be using a skimming device to copy information from the magnetic strip of your card.

What to do: Make sure that the attendant brings the card machine to you and your fuel card is visible at all times.

What to look for: Petrol attendants might overcharge you by adding an amount of petrol already pumped to another vehicle and charging you. Thereby receiving double payment.

What to do: Be vigilant and check that the petrol meter is at zero before your petrol is pumped to ensure that you are not paying for an amount that hasn't been cleared from the pump from a previous customer. Check that the amount on the pump matches the amount on the card machine.

What to look for: Amounts might not match up.

What to do: Always ask for a receipt and check the rand amount on your receipt, compare this amount to the cash amount and litre reading on the metre at the pump.

What to look for: Discrepancies in fuel spend. The businessman involved in the case reported in the News24 article above, was not informed of activities on his credit card after it was cloned because criminals were able to make changes with the bank so that SMS and e-mail alerts were not sent.

What to do: With Intelligent Fuel Management, we monitor your fuel spend and inform you of any suspected fraudulent activity.

Avis Fleet have a range of solutions to suit your fleet's needs. Check out our fuel management solution and contact us.


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