Petrol station pump fraud hits the fuel industry


Yesterday I had shocking discussion with a Petrol Station owner. He baptised me on a growing fraud by petrol station owners, of which motorists are not aware. This fraud is being perpetuated by independent stations, but more and more of the mainstream station owners are joining in the loot. He said:

  1. Fuel skimming: The stations are skimming the fuel by decreasing the amount of fuel that has been bought by the customer. You pay for 27 litres, the pump records 27 litres and the pump nozzle pours 24 litres inside the car. This fraud is 100% foolproof as there is zero chance that the customer shall out. And due to the high price of fuel, motorists justify and accept the swindle. I was amazed at how easy the station can manipulate their pumps. By doing the folowing:

(a) Making front air on the pump to be counted as fuel. In this case, rather than having a vaccume on the pump, the fuel subsides inside the pump pipe each time the pump switches off. Billing then starts way before the petrol hits the tank. You pay for the front air drag.

(b) The independents sometimes rig the fuel counting clock to perform digit jumping (1,3,5,6,7,10) as it rolls with speed, the motorist is not able to notice the jump even if they happen to be staring at the meter clock. End result is 45 litres, while the real amount of petrol poured inside the tank is 34.7 litres. these (a) and (b) defrauding methods are very easy with the cheap chinese pumps that are used by independent fuel retailers.

  1. Diesel dilution: Some independent stations are diluting the diesel by adding huge quantities of paraffin. Paraffin is the less cotly of of the three fuels and independent retailers have a way of buying less cheaper. They bulk up the diesel and increase the profit per litre. Recent fuel tests have shown a huge spike in this kind of fraud, where the tracer dye of paraffin was found in many samples from independents.

Compatriots, if you drive a diesel engine be alert for heavy smoke and loss of power amongst other signs of dilution. As far as the skimming fraud is concerned, please carry a tester litre.

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