Fraud committed against your business because of a stolen card, compromised data, an unscrupulous employee or an unsecured connection could grind your operations to a halt. But there are strategies you can deploy to help you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
One way to help protect against fraud? A fleet card solution. It’s not the only answer when it comes to staying safe, but it can give you added peace of mind as you manage multiple employees at multiple points of sale with multiple pieces of sensitive information. A fleet card greatly reduces the risk of fraud and helps your business stay up and running. Read on to learn more about types of fraud, the implications and what you can do to protect against it.
Types of fraud to which you could be vulnerable
- Credit card fraud at the pump. We’ve all heard about card skimmers at gas stations and ATMs; debit cards are especially vulnerable to being hijacked by these devices. According to FICO, debit card compromise was up 10% in 2017.1 Using a credit card solution that offers real-time usage statistics helps you to stay aware of any suspicious activity.
- Employee misuse (occupational fraud). You trust your employees to make the right decisions, but sometimes businesses will experience employee theft or misuse. In their 2018 Report to the Nations, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners found that internal fraud accounted for $7 billion in total losses for businesses in 2017, averaging $130,000 per case.2
- Outside attacks. Your information and networks could be vulnerable to phishing scams,3 hackers or data breaches. Follow best practices—like only opening emails from trusted contacts, using secured networks and never sharing sensitive information or passwords—both in the office and on the road—to stay as safe as possible.
Fraud costs a business more than what’s stolen from it. The average cost per dollar of fraud losses in 2016 was $2.40.4
Implications of fraud
- Lost money. Obviously, this is the first thing most people think about when they hear the word “fraud.” Even if you’ve taken measures to protect your accounts before scammers have had time to do serious damage, an unsecured card number can leave you susceptible to theft. Your business may not be liable for all fraud, but reimbursement can be tedious and time-consuming. And there’s a good chance you won’t recover everything you’ve lost: The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners reported that only 15% of fraud victims recouped all losses—and found that the more you lose, the less likely you are to make a full recovery.2
- Lost productivity. Your business won’t run smoothly—or maybe at all, for that matter—when you’ve been exposed to fraud. Your employees won’t be able to pay for fuel with their usual methods, and your standard processes will have to be totally reworked.
- Lost time. Again, when you need to react to a security breach or instance of fraud, you’re left spending your time on the wrong tasks, which can last for weeks or even months as you have to put off important projects and work to manage the fallout from an attack. Your time will be taken up by cleaning up the post-attack mess rather than running your business.
- Lost confidence. While not measurable in the same way as the above implications, being the victim of fraud can be a blow to your company’s morale. And, if your customers find out, it can make them apprehensive to partner with you as well. If you have controls in place to keep information and funds safe, you can grow trust both internally and externally.
Small and midsize businesses can be hit particularly hard by fraud: Businesses with 100 or fewer employees lost almost twice as much ($200,000) per attack as those with 100 or more employees ($104,000).2
Tips to help you prevent fraud
- Protect your networks. Don’t connect to unsecured Wi-Fi to transmit any information—sensitive or not. Make sure mobile employees follow the same security protocol as those in your home office.
- Train your employees. In a PwC study, 48% of organizations reported that they didn’t have an employee security awareness training program.5 But a few security best-practices tips can go a long way. Make sure employees aren’t writing down or sharing card numbers or passwords; educate them on the dangers of phishing and other common scams.
- Use a fleet card. While there are many other valuable reasons to use a fleet card, like a higher level of control and insights into spending, fleet cards can only be used at fuel and maintenance locations, so you greatly mitigate the risk of fraudulent activity at non-sanctioned vendors. You’ll have greater purchase controls and get focused analytical reports that alert you to suspicious card activity.
Fleet cards are inherently safer than standard cards because each driver is issued a unique ID, so you’ll be able to keep tabs on their activity, as well as quickly identify if their ID was compromised. Online portals like Shell Account Manager allow you to set spending limits and restrict purchases by product category for a greater sense of control and peace of mind.
You can help avoid becoming a victim to common forms of fraud by following some basic precautions. Ready to find out how a fleet card can help offer your business better protections—and much more? Get started here.
1FICO Data: 10 Percent More Debit Cards Were Compromised in U.S. Last Year, March 7, 2018, https://www.fico.com/en/newsroom/10-percent-more-debit-cards-were-compromised-in-us-last-year
2Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ 2018 Global Study on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/acfepublic/2018-report-to-the-nations.pdf
4LexisNexis® True Cost of FraudSM Survey, 2016, https://risk.lexisnexis.com/insights-resources/research/lexisnexis-2016-true-cost-of-fraud
5PwC, The Global State of Information Security® Survey 2018, https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/consulting/cybersecurity/library/information-security-survey.html