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What you need to know about fuel fraud

Managing fuel costs can be a complex process, especially when taking into consideration the risk and consequences of fuel fraud…

Unfortunately, fuel fraud is a fact of life for many fleets – and one that’s costly – so it’s vital that you have the means to highlight a number of tell-tale signs for spotting it. For example, you should ask yourself:

1.Do mileage figures provided by the driver correlate with odometer readings?
2.Does the volume of fuel listed on a receipt exceed the vehicles’ maximum fuel tank capacity?
3.Has the driver purchased the correct type of fuel?
4.Is the vehicle’s MPG reading unusually low?
If the above questions reveal discrepancies and the numbers don’t quite add up, you may be a victim of fuel fraud.


Fuel fraud presents itself in many different shapes and sizes so, in order to prevent it from happening within your business, it’s important to understand the different types and how they occur.

Mileage Creeping:

This refers to inflating mileage figures on fuel reclaims, and is one of the most common forms of fuel fraud.

Fuel Deceit:
This refers to numerous fraudulent actions including filling non-approved vehicles, over-fueling and side fueling, when the driver pumps fuel into a side container for personal use.

Fuel Card Fraud:
An increasingly common form of fraud, this refers to inflating fuel card transactions, sharing fuel cards and authorising multiple pump purchases.

Fuel Type Fraud:
This simply means purchasing the wrong type of fuel, which indicates that the purchase has been made for an unauthorised vehicle.

Fuel Syphoning:

This occurs when fuel is removed from the tank of a vehicle, for personal use. On occasion, the driver will also refuel his or her authorised vehicle.

As you can see, there are many different variations of fuel fraud, however, untoward activity will only be detected if receipts are being checked against vehicle specifications.