Fleet News

Fleet Managers ‘must do more’ to combat fuel fraud

Person using fuel pump in filling station

New research, commissioned by Shell, reveals that almost two thirds of fleet managers (65%) in the UK now see fuel related fraud as a major issue for their business.

The research, entitled ‘Fraud Matters’, surveyed fleet managers and drivers in eight countries across the globe, including the UK. It found that 48% of fleet managers agreed they need to do more to tackle the issue of fuel fraud which could unlock fuel cost savings of more than 5%.

Furthermore, the report reveals that over a third of drivers (34%) agree that fraud is now a serious issue for their industry. With 26% of drivers admitting to witnessing a colleague behave fraudulently at work – with fuel siphoning highlighted as a common example. Other costly criminal practices identified by managers and drivers include drivers paying for fuel with cash to hide the purchase of additional items, card cloning and account hacking.

Scott McGregor, sales manager at Shell UK Commercial Fleet, says: “Commissioning this new research has given us an even clearer picture of the nature of fuel related fraud – as told by fleet managers and drivers themselves. Because fuel is such a valuable resource, it will always attract criminal behaviour. 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 among these additional protection measures according to fleet managers is driver education, with 37% of fleet managers stating that a lack of driver education stops them from improving how effectively they detect fraud. Yet even so, a lack of time and resources means just 28% currently offer fraud prevention training for staff.  Consequently, while 61% of fleet managers claim to be aware of the latest anti-fraud solutions, just 30% of drivers feel similarly up-to-speed.

McGregor said: “One of the biggest problems businesses have in combatting fraud is that too often the latest guidance and information doesn’t make its way from the office to the driver’s seat. Online card monitoring, real-time detection and pre-set fill-up limits can be very effective in reducing criminal behaviour. But to really win the battle, businesses must also invest the necessary time and resources into training staff on how to be smarter about fraud protection on the ground.”

This is the first time that Shell has conducted the Fraud Matters research. It was conducted in May 2015 by Edelman Berland, an independent research firm, in collaboration with Shell. It obtained the views of 870 fleet managers and 350 drivers across eight countries – Germany, Netherlands, UK, Poland, Malaysia, Thailand, USA and South Africa via an online survey. Respondents came from a combination of, heavy light and mixed goods vehicle fleets.


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