We talked to a fuel management bureau operator to find out how they work to save money for their clients. In part two we find out what the steps are to preventing fuel fraud for your fleet company, how often fuel fraud occurs, what kind of process to follow if it does , and what the internal controls are.
INTERVIEWER: Am I right in saying that part of your job is fuel fraud?
INTERVIEWEE: Finding fraud? Yes, we identify fraud. It differs from month to month, we have high fraud volumes and other months we have few transactions. Christmas time is a very popular time for fraud because criminals know it’s Christmas and people are getting bonuses and this causes a spike in crime rates. I’ve got some figures for you from over the past few months. In January we had about R14 935 worth of proven fraud. In February it went up a bit to R19 750, in March we had a very bad month as we could only prove R2 551 worth of fraud. For April we proved R25 844 worth of fraud and then May was a very good month for us. We actually had two of our bureau operators identify cloned cards. When there is a cloned card in the play, it can be swiped two or three times a day because fraudsters just want the cash and they will try and get as much as they can. One of the bureau operators identified about R18 000 worth of fraud on a cloned card and the other operator identified R30 000 worth of fraud on a cloned card. So all altogether for May there was about R55 000.
The important thing to know here is that we do send messages of fuel fraud and we do ask our clients to be familiar with their different staff members because if they don’t know about it, it is going to slide under the table and they are not going to know who is committing the fuel fraud. It could be the drivers or anyone else.
The three most common, I would say are inflated card transactions, which have been done a lot, cloned cards are also very popular and then you get the private fill where people take their private vehicle and fill it with the company card. In the case of the last item, we get a low transaction and when we query we find that they have given a registration number that isn’t linked to the card.
INTERVIEWER: What is the process you follow after you have identified fraud?
INTERVIEWEE: After we identify fraud we will follow up, for example when we have got the slips and a driver actually admits that he did siphon the fuel, then we will encourage the client to call the driver and, if possible, to get all the facts together. We encourage them to make criminal cases, but unfortunately many of the small fraud cases do not get a satisfactory outcome, and since the client has to spend days and days in court most of them just give the offenders a warning. We don’t tell our customers how to handle these situations but we do encourage them to follow very strict law procedures. These are criminals and they are stealing, after all.
To help prevent crime, we encourage our clients to not let their drivers swap cards. Some companies actually allow that and then the transactions come out as some big mess. If vehicles are parked at night we encourage them to ensure that they are in a secure premises or at least that there is a security guard there to ensure that the petrol is not siphoned out of the vehicle. Another prevention method is to watch the tracking.
INTERVIEWER: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us and telling us about the important work you do as a fuel management bureau operator.
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