How to Spot Fuel Card Skimming and Fraud
by Mario Tarradell | November 16, 2022
Safety and Control at the Pump: Stay Aware of Fuel Card Skimming and Fraud
Fuel card skimming and fraud are escalating across the country. Fraudsters are bolder and stealthier at the pump, so truckers need to be extra aware when they fill up with diesel. When it comes to protecting your money and your identity, it pays to spot the visual signs of skimming and detect the transactional signs of fraud.
Card skimming is the illegal act of placing a small machine, a skimmer, onto the card slot of a fuel pump. That skimmer takes sensitive information – credit card numbers, zip codes, and PIN numbers – that can lead to stolen funds and identity theft.
To help stop card skimming and fraud, we put together bullet points that detail how to spot the scam at the pump and tips to notice fraud in your transaction bills.
How to Detect Fuel Card Skimming:
- At the fuel pump, check the alignment between the card reader and the panel underneath as skimmers are placed on top of the actual card reader, which means they stick out. Compare the card reader to others at the truck stop for any differences.
- Diesel pumps should have a security tape over the cabinet panel. If the tape looks ripped or broken, avoid using the card reader as it may have been compromised. Try looking inside the card reader for a thin plastic circuit board that can steal card information.
- Keep in mind that fraudsters have their own security tape that they replace after planting the skimmer. So, always make sure to check for oddities in the card reader first.
- Try to wiggle the card reader to see if it can easily come out of place. Authentic card readers are strongly manufactured. If any part of the card reader can easily move, then it’s probably been installed illegally.
Common Fuel Card Fraud Activity:
- The same card being used multiple times in a short period of time.
- Unusual increase of issued checks, cash, or other fuel-related transactions.
- Large fuel purchases, more than needed for the distance the truck traveled.
TCS Fuel Card clients get peace of mind with the card’s security features – prompts and limits. Prompts call for specific information, such as unit number and employee number, to be entered at the pump each time the card is used. This prevents fraudulent activity if the card is lost or stolen. And with limits, TCS Fuel Card clients can set separate spending limits for fuel, cash, products, and services. The TCS Fuel Card security controls are customizable and flexible. Access them through the TCS mobile app, the client site, or TCS customer service.
Also, TCS Cardless Fueling allows our clients to avoid fraud because they can pump diesel without a physical card at TA®, Petro Stopping Centers®, and TA Express®. Since there is no card to swipe, that eliminates the risk of fraud.
That’s how we make sure that our TCS Fuel Card clients protect themselves from card skimmers and fraudsters. We always want our TCS clients to pump safely. If you suspect fraud on your TCS Fuel Card, contact TCS Client Services immediately at 844-827-7696.