Identity theft and fraud have become big business in the global economy largely due to technology and the digital world. The trucking industry is particularly vulnerable because business is constantly moving. The risk might be even bigger for smaller companies and owner-operators based on the need for immediate cash flow and efficient payment transactions. Security and fraud prevention are no longer an after-thought — they are a priority.
Pay Attention to Payment at the Pump
Skimmers are particularly common at fueling stations across the country. These magnetic strip readers are easily applied to the existing payment terminals. Some criminals will place a fake keypad over the existing keypad in order to capture the PIN directly. Others will place a camera near the fake device in order to record the PIN as it is entered. For owner-operators, fueling a vehicle needs to be efficient and not something they want to worry about.
How To Stay Safe and Secure When Fueling Up
- Tampering: Check for obvious signs of tampering. Look at the card reader and the keypad for anything that does not look right. Compare the payment device to the one next to you at the pump.
- Test it: If the device looks suspicious, try to remove it physically. It there is no movement, or it has a solid construction, there is probably not an issue.
- Be vigilant: Hide your PIN whenever it is required. Use an EMV chip which has authorization on the card without transmitting personal data.
- Fleet Cards: Use trackable fuel cards whenever possible in order to control card activity and protect against fraud.
While U.S. credit card fraud is on the rise, there is some good news. Fueling technology and fleet management solutions have become more robust and credit partners like Mastercard and Visa are making it harder for criminals to steal vital data.
8 Steps for More Secure Payments
- Carry your fleet card and fuel card separately from your wallet and carry only the card you need for that trip. This will minimize your losses if someone steals your wallet.
- During a transaction, keep your eye on your fuel card. Make sure you get it back before you walk away from the fueling station.
- Don’t give your fuel card account number to anyone on the phone and never write it down randomly.
- Never sign a blank receipt. Draw a line through any blank spaces above the total.
- Save your receipts to compare with your statement or provide to your fleet management representative.
- Open your bills promptly, check them online, and reconcile them quickly.
- Report any questionable charges to the fuel card issuer or fleet manager immediately.
- Notify your fuel card issuer or company if your address changes.