Preventing Purchasing Card Fraud by Getting to Its Roots

purchasing card fraud

When a person commits fraud with a purchasing card (P-Card), by definition, it is a deliberate act. The P-Card holder knows that his or her usage of that P-Card is wrong—perhaps even criminal. Yet, they go through with the purchasing card fraud anyway. And often, such perpetrators will go to extreme lengths to hide their fraudulent actions.

So how does a business nip fraud in the bud? When a P-Card user is hell-bent to commit a crime, is it even possible?

It is… but it takes intentional, proactive steps by company management to combat fraud at its roots. Here are a few things you can do to help prevent your company from being a victim of P-Card fraud.

Encourage diligence from others

Often, when fraud is initiated, more than one person knows about it and is involved in the act. And despite their best efforts, the fraudsters don’t necessarily go undetected by those around them.

Silence, in such a situation, is deadly to the healthiness of a company’s P-Card system. Employees need to be encouraged to look out for such fraud, and then step up and speak up regarding any illegal use they notice by other cardholders. This is accomplished most successfully by:

  • Listening to what the reporting employees have to say
  • Following up on what they report
  • Holding accountable those found responsible for the fraud with set consequences
  • Communicating the end result candidly to all company employees
  • Keeping the employees feeling safe and secure against any retaliation

Don’t forget your merchants

If your P-Cards are used with the same merchants on a regular and continuous basis, cultivate a good working relationship with them as well and keep the lines of communication open. Let them know your policies and procedures as they refer to those merchants, so they can be vigilant against any possible attempts at fraud. Together, your collaboration will help keep fraud at bay.

Educate all involved

Communicating what is expected from each cardholder—and what might happen if those expectations are not met—is extremely important when fighting fraud at its roots. As part of your training, you can make it clear that your company has a system in place that monitors all P-Card usage, so that no employee is ever under the impression that they can make fraudulent purchases without being detected. If a P-Card user thinks he or she is “being watched,” the risk of fraud can be reduced.

For More Tips, Download Our P-Card Best Practices eGuide

Smarter spending begins with the right controls in place. Make the most of your P-Cards with a comprehensive best practices guide. Our detailed guide groups P-Card program best practices into seven distinct categories: 

    – Policy
    – Management
    – Infrastructure
    – Audit
    – Submission
    – Purchasing
    – Training

These tips can help streamline your card program, bring efficiency to the P-Card process all while preparing your card program with scalability and security in mind. Set up your card program for success. Make the most of your P-Cards by downloading our FREE guide today. 

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