There’s a type of fraud that plagues fleet managers, and the problem is growing louder, according to oil giant Shell.
A research report commissioned by the company found that fleet managers across the globe consider fuel-related fraud a significant problem for their corporations.
Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed in the U.K., for example, cited fuel fraud as a major concern. Nearly half of fleet managers across markets said they acknowledge the need to do more to combat the issue.
According to Shell, roping in fuel fraud could lead to more than 5 percent fuel cost savings for a business.
“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,” said Shell U.K. Commercial Fleet Sales Manager Scott McGregor in a statement. “Because fuel is such a valuable resource, it will always attract criminal behavior. 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.”
Fuel fraud can hit a company in a number of ways. More than a quarter of those surveyed said they had seen a colleague perform some kind of fraudulent activity while on the job, commonly citing fuel siphoning, according to reports.
Drivers may also purchase fuel with cash to hide additional, unapproved items, the research found. Fleet card cloning and attacks into corporate fuel card accounts are also significant problems.
Shell’s report suggested driver education is one of the most successful ways to combat this kind of fraud. Researchers found that 37 percent of fleet managers agree a lack of driver education is preventing them from improving fraud detection. Just 28 percent said they currently offer fraud training to their staff.
The divide between fleet manager and driver becomes even more clear in Shell’s finding that 61 percent of managers say they are familiar with the latest anti-fraud tools but just 30 percent of drivers say the same.
“One of the biggest problems businesses have in combating fraud is that, too often, the latest guidance and information doesn’t make its way from the office to the driver’s seat,” McGregor explained. “Online card monitoring, real-time detection and preset fill-up limits can be very effective in reducing criminal behavior. But to really win the battle, businesses must also invest in the necessary time and resources into training staff on how to be smarter about fraud protection on the ground.”