Fuel fraud remains serious issue: Shell research published 06 May 2016

Almost two thirds of fleet managers (65%) in the UK see fuel-related fraud as a major issue for their operations, according to independent research from Shell, published today (26 April 2016) at the CV Show, NEC, Birmingham.

Just under half (48%) believe that tackling the issue would realise fuel cost savings of more than 5%, while 14% reckon that tightening their practices could generate fuel cost savings of 10% or more.

Shell’s Fraud Matters report, which took views from fleet managers and drivers in eight countries around the world, including the UK, also reveals that just over a third of drivers (34%) see fraud as a serious issue in the transport industry.

Indeed, 26% of drivers say they have seen other drivers behaving fraudulently at work – with fuel siphoning being a common example given.

Other criminal practices frequently identified by managers and drivers alike include drivers paying for fuel with cash to hide the purchase of additional items (cited by 35% of managers and 10% of drivers), card cloning (33% and 12%) and even fuel account hacking (23%, 8%).

“Because fuel is such a valuable resource, it will always attract criminal behaviour and, as a global fuel card provider, it’s Shell’s job to help our customers protect themselves,” comments Scott McGregor, sales manager at Shell UK Commercial Fleet.

“That’s why we recommend every fleet or road haulage operator establishes a full set of tactics for defending their business against fraud and, ultimately, reducing its impact on their bottom line.”

Key protection measures, according to fleet managers surveyed by Shell’s report, is driver education – with 37% agreeing that poor education limits how well they can detect fraud.

Unfortunately though, the report also identifies that time and resource constraints mean that just 28% of fleets currently offer fraud prevention training.

No surprise then that, while 61% of fleet managers claim to be aware of the latest anti-fraud solutions, just 30% of drivers say they are up to speed.

“One of the biggest problems ... is that, too often, latest guidance and information doesn’t make its way from the office to the driver’s seat,” comments McGregor.

“Online card monitoring, real-time detection and pre-set fill-up limits can be very effective.” He advises.

“But to really win the battle, [operators] must also invest time and resources into training staff on how to be smarter about fraud protection on the ground.”

Shell solutions currently on offer include: Shell Card Online (the web-based management system that provides access to all transactions made with a Shell fuel card); and Real Time Detection (Shell’s fraud detection technology, based on the same system that banks use to detect credit card fraud).

Shell also fields dedicated fraud case managers and analysts who claim to be able to monitor all payments made with a Shell fuel card globally.

Brian Tinham

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117754/Shell Fraud Infographics UK.PDF

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