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Fleet And Fuel Cards

Three common fuel card hacks (and how to protect yourself from them)

Just because a card is designated a fuel card doesn’t mean it’s properly set up to protect your business from fraud.

Just because a card is designated a fuel card doesn’t mean it’s properly set up to protect your business from fraud. Read on to discover common ways fuel cards can get hacked – and how to stop fraud before it starts.


The most common version of fuel theft is fuel pump “skimming,” a scam which involves somebody stealing the credit information put into the pump by installing card-reading technology on top of the pump itself. In fact, according to the FBI, skimming costs consumers and institutions over $1 billion each year. 

Solution: Prevent skimming by using a fuel card that doesn’t enter any information in the pump. This renders the theft of that information completely useless. On top of this, it’s crucial to have a card that uses chips instead of magnetic stripes. Cards without chips are significantly more likely to be skimmed because the information is less secure. 

PIN theft 

Are your drivers still putting a four-digit PIN in before they fuel up? This “security” system isn’t very secure. Drivers often write down their pins in sticky notes on the car, share them with others or forget them and repeat them aloud on the phone. On top of that, in some states, you have to shout your pin out loud to an attendant — almost guaranteeing that anyone riding along will overhear. All you have to do is take any card and you can impersonate another employee — it’s common and extremely difficult to track. 

Solution: Use a 2-step check in process with either an app or SMS texting to check into the card. This secure approach is just as quick as putting in a PIN at the pump, and allows for users to unlock the card before going to fuel up, thus guaranteeing a more secure experience.

Fueling unauthorized vehicles

If someone is intentionally looking to take money from the business in the form of fuel, a common game might be to bring their personal car to the pump and fill it up after they fill up their work vehicle — you can do this on the same transaction simply by pulling one vehicle up behind the other and keeping the pump going, pausing to switch. 

Solution: Set up controls that apply to both the driver and the vehicle, as well as key alerts to notify users when irregular purchases occur. Most fuel cards only have the ability to set card limits based on one dimension, but some have the ability to do both and thus control fuel spend more holistically.