Protect your business from fuel fraud

Things are a bit uncertain now, with all that is going on in the world. Business owners everywhere are taking a close look at the way their businesses run and the way employees interact with one another and customers.

While we want to believe fraud isn’t prevalent at times when we are focusing on pulling together, it is actually one of the times we need to be more focused on it. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to fraud.

There are a few different types of fuel fraud that businesses should be aware of including:

  • Skimming—when a thief manipulates a credit card scanner to steal the information off the card.
  • Internal fraud—when employees misuse fuel privileges or deliberately steal fuel by buying excess fuel for personal use, using company vehicles for personal use, storing excess fuel to sell or siphoning off fuel.
  • Phishing—an email or text is used to retrieve credit card or fuel card information through an online fraudster posing as a trusted source.
  • Data breaches—when a hacker breaks into a private database to steal cardholder information to create new accounts or to misuse current accounts.

These are some of the significant ways that fuel fraud occurs. Businesses need to take steps to protect themselves, as it can often be challenging to prove fraud has occurred, especially when it comes to internal fraud. Unfortunately, employees who misuse company fuel cards or credit cards can account for a large portion of fuel fraud transactions.

One reason internal fuel fraud can be such a significant issue for many companies is a lack of understanding about what fuel theft is. Fleet managers and drivers often disagree over the ethics of fuel theft. According to an Edelman Berland research firm report commissioned by Shell, nearly 86% of US fleet managers believe that some of their drivers are committing fraudulent activity. In contrast, almost 1 in 6 drivers do not consider fuel fraud to be a big issue at all, even though 2 in 5 drivers admit they have seen another driver act fraudulently.

Why is there a disconnect between managers and drivers? It may come down to a misunderstanding of how much fuel fraud truly affects a business. Drivers on the road may not think that misusing fuel for their purposes is that big of a deal. They don’t see the budgetary effects of little extra fuel costs here and there. Managers, on the other hand, are often watching over razor-thin profit margins, searching for ways to save money. Every little cent makes a difference to the business, and so extra fuel charges can start to add up.

The best way to prevent fraud is to detect when it starts to happen. Managers need access to fast, accurate expense tracking to stay on top of charges before they occur. This way, they can identify problematic fuel purchases and find out why they are happening. Using this information, a manager can then warn drivers to stop the inappropriate behavior or train them on how to prevent fraudulent transactions. The problem many businesses face is that they don’t have fast and accurate tracking.

We can help with that. Our fuel card program helps to prevent fraud and protect businesses when it happens. Every CFN card comes with a card number, quantity limit and driver identification number, which is set to a pre-approved amount. Drivers will then be more careful to avoid misusing their fuel privileges. Email notifications of potential fraud alerts can also be set up for early detection.

The CFN fleet card program is set up with a number of controls to help cut back on fuel misuse. These controls can help train drivers to use their fuel privileges more appropriately and include:

  • Personalized driver profiles
  • Daily transaction limits
  • Time of day and weekly control limits
  • Product control
  • E-receipts
  • Custom fuel usage reports

All of this information is easily accessible for managers and businesses to stay on top of their fuel expenses. If fuel fraud is occurring, it can be detected quickly before high costs arise. The more closely you track your fuel expenses and impose limits on fuel privileges, the easier it will be to protect your business.

We are sure that most drivers don’t intend to misuse fuel privileges. It only takes a few bad apples to spoil the bunch. That’s why the CFN fleet card limitations protect both businesses and drivers. With these limits, clear expectations and fast-tracking, everyone can stay in line. It will help cut back on expenses, which is what every business needs. Sign up now for the program.

Choose ISOCLEAN® products to prevent contamination

Have you heard the story that when a grain of sand gets stuck inside an oyster, it turns into a pearl? The process isn’t as glamorous or as simple as it sounds.

Turns out the oyster recognizes the grain of sand as an irritant. To get rid of it, the oyster coats the grain of sand in layers of a natural fluid coating called ‘nacre’ to stop the irritation, and eventually, a pearl forms. This little lesson shows us that lubricants are even needed underwater.

Particle contamination is a true problem for any business that runs equipment. Microscopic dirt, particles and chemicals can get into oils, fluids and other materials and ruin the equipment.

Unlike an oyster, a piece of machinery can’t naturally produce a fluid to get rid of the offending irritant. It’s up to the operator to choose appropriate lubricants and fluids to keep equipment clean and as particle-free as possible.

Proactive maintenance is the theory of preventing breakdowns by extending the life of machinery. This can be accomplished, in part, by reducing contamination in fluids and materials that will eventually lead to mechanical failures. If you can catch the particle and containment's in the fluids before it used on the equipment, you can avoid potential breakdowns.

Particle contamination can cost your business more money than you think. According to Caterpillar, “dirt and contamination are by far the number one cause of hydraulic system failures.” Oklahoma State University found that “when fluid is maintained ten times cleaner, hydraulic pump life can be extended by up to 50 times.”

Hydraulic systems aren’t the only pieces of equipment that are prone to the dangers of particle contamination. Nearly every type of equipment can be slowed down or suffer a breakdown because of small containments. It’s the reason that lubricant fluid is needed.

To help prevent this problem, Chevron established the ISOCLEAN® program. This program ensures that the lubricant products meet OEM ISO cleanliness standards. The ISO code is an international standard of cleanliness based on automatic particle counting determined by oil analysis. If the analysis of your fluids does not meet the recommended levels of the code, you know they are no good. Chevron’s program ensures that its lubricant products meet these standards from the very beginning. By choosing ISOCLEAN® products, you can be sure that your lubricants and fluids meet ISO code and are clean enough to use in your equipment.

Three new Chevron products were recently ISOCLEAN® certified, Meropa EliteSyn™ XM 150, 220, 320. These high-performance synthetic gear oils offer many benefits, including:

  • ISOCLEAN® certified cleanliness
  • Reduced operating temperatures
  • Long lubricant life
  • Wide temperature range for use in fluctuating temperatures
  • Micro pitting resistance for increased wear protection and reduced maintenance

Equipment breakdowns can cause your business time and money. Start with the right lubrication products, like Chevron ISOCLEAN™ lubricants, and you will know that you are using superior lubricant products that are already certified clean. The more proactive you are regarding particle contamination, the easier it is to avoid breakdowns and maintenance costs. We can recommend Chevron products for your equipment that will help cut down on your maintenance costs and deliver the value you want.

Choosing the right products is just one part of the equation. You have to ensure that your fuel, fluids and lubricants stay clean. The best way to do this is by investing in an oil analysis program. We offer this service to our customers. Periodic testing of your oil products can help you stay on top of the particle count in your fluids and locate any sources of potential contamination before you add the products to your equipment. Our oil analysis program can help you save money on your overall maintenance costs and help your business establish a standard of fluid cleanliness to prevent future problems. Ask our team about signing up today.

It would be great if your heavy equipment could turn microscopic particles into pearls, but it’s not going to happen. You need the right lubricants and fluids to prevent tiny, unseen contaminants from grinding your equipment to a halt. Choose superior Chevron products, like their new gear oils. The ISOCLEAN™ certification is how you know the products are as clean as possible, and ready to use. It’s an investment that can prolong the life of your equipment and keep your business competitive.