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The role of training in fighting fraud

Driver fraud is a huge concern for fleet managers. In a 2017 independent survey commissioned by Shell[1], 62% of fleet managers across Europe said fraud relating to fuel and fuel cards is a big issue – a rise from 55% in 2015. But while six out of 10 fleet managers think fraud impacts on fuel costs, only 25% actively guard against it.

There are several different types of fraud, including fraud that affects the driver directly, such as card cloning and account hacking. But broadly, the three main types of fraudulent activity committed by employees of most concern to fleet managers are mileage, insurance and fuel fraud. Some of this can be deliberate, but unintentional fraud, for example badly filed mileage expenses, is perhaps more common.

One study[2] from vehicle leasing company, Flexed, showed that 90% of drivers had committed mileage fraud at some point. Of those, 63% said they’d added miles to gain personally while 36% had done it because they hadn’t bothered with the admin and simply made something up.

It is estimated that driver fraud costs insurers $29bn (£21.8bn)[3] in inaccurate premiums; customers $1bn (£0.75bn)[4] in car costs from fake speedometer readings and $2bn (£1.6bn) in fuel claims[5].

These figures prove that fraud-combating training is worth investing in.

Why train against fraud?

Despite many fleet managers viewing driver awareness and technology as key to guarding against fraud, only 1 in 3 run fraud-related driver training[6].

Yet, from a management perspective, it is better to review systems and procedures and improve reporting to prevent fraud in the first place to avoid costly repercussions – both in financial and in reputation terms.

This is where training becomes a crucial element in beating fraud.

Available for both fleet managers and their drivers, these workshops cover issues such as appropriate fuel reporting, acceptable ways of record-keeping, understanding the law and clarifying definitions, particularly around separating out personal and work vehicle use.

The form of each course or workshop will vary, but most will feature a mixture of formal presentation, practical examples, group exercises, discussion and tests.  There can also be an element of role-playing – training through scenario planning in workshops can help drivers understand the overall impact of making rough estimations or not paying attention when filling up.

Training courses don’t have to take up days, in fact, some companies offer hour-long briefings that fit into a lunchtime.

What can training teach a fleet manager?

Getting a better understanding and learning to recognise and react to fraud, requires new skillsets. A third party will help a fleet manager develop an understanding of the threats posed by employees within an organisation and learn how to apply internal security and fraud management.

Fraud intelligence training can teach a fleet manager on how best to prepare for and approach fraud, taking a look at risk and security issues, and learning to identify the different types of fraud carried out by employees.

A thorough course will cover how to implement a range of prevention and detection controls and enable fleet managers to understand motivations and risk factor indicators. It should also teach managers how to put in place an effective whistleblowing and ‘duty to report’ policy within the framework of data protection.

Equally, managers can be trained to recognise some of fraud’s red flags, such as non-typical fuel receipts for otherwise regular journeys or consistently seeing mileage reports that end in 0 or 5 – journeys rarely happen in such neat numbers.

Courses can also teach fleet managers the benefits of technology in the fight against fraud. Dashcams and accelerometers can be useful in personal injury claims such as whiplash and crash for cash scenarios.

What can training teach drivers? 

The aim of training courses for employees is to give them a clear understanding of the risk of fraud, and for them to understand the full implications of financial fraud and its relationship with personal and corporate theft.

Specific training in telematics and expense filing can also help eliminate unintentional mileage or fuel fraud where honest mistakes can lead to inappropriate reporting.

Most unconscious fraud comes from having outdated systems, usually paper-based forms, for drivers to note mileage and fuel spending.

Courses and workshops can train your employees so they understand company policies and procedures, and make sure they grasp the importance of following all rules and guidelines. Good training courses should emphasise the repercussions of committing a fraud – up to and including criminal prosecution.

There are also courses available to train drivers to identify external sources of fraud, including identity theft.

Thoroughly training your employees against fraud is an essential element in the battle against it, but it is only one solution and won’t work as a standalone fix-all.

It’s important that, as a fleet manager, you don’t rely solely on driver-training – the success of the training lies in real-time implementation. Making sure you put into practice the strategies you have learnt through your own training will go a long way to combat fraudulent activity in your business.

Training courses in the UK

CIFAs are leaders in fraud prevention and offer a variety of different training courses. Find out more here.

The following companies offer e-learning

Praxis 42
Provide a remote learning course on fraud awareness for employees. Find out more here.

Offer an Essential: Fraud Prevention e-learning course. Find out more here. 


[1] Thought leadership: Study of Fleet Managers in Europe, October 2017

[2] 90% of Company car drivers fake mileage reports ‘costing companies millions’

[3]  White Lies – The $29 Billion Auto Insurance Fraud That Impacts You

[4]  Preliminary Report: The Incidence Rate of Odometer Fraud

[5]  Leading accountant warns of rising problem of fuel fraud

[6] Thought leadership: Study of Fleet Managers in Europe, October 2017

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