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How to Protect Your Truckstop Against Thousands of Dollars in Check Fraud

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

This week, the FBI arrested a man for stealing at least $100,000 from truckstops with fraudulent EFS TransChecks. Suspects often use a scam that has been around for years. The good news? You can stop it from happening to you.

Example of How This Scam Works

  1. The customer walks into a truckstop asking to cash an EFS TransCheck or Comdata ComCheck. (The check sometimes has the authorization number already filled in, and other times it is left blank.)
  2. The customer tells the cashier to expect a phone call from EFS or Comdata. (The customer could have a hard-luck story about why he has no cash or ID.)
  3. An accomplice calls the cashier, pretending to be an employee of EFS or Comdata. This accomplice verifies the authorization number on the check or provides it to the cashier.
  4. The cashier cashes the fraudulent check.
  5. The check thieves often move to another truckstop nearby where they repeat the scam.

What You Should Know

  1. EFS and Comdata will NEVER call a fuel desk with an authorization, issuer or transaction number. The travel plaza employee must call EFS or Comdata for TransCheck or ComCheck authorizations.
  2. If you receive such a call, assume it is a scam. Ask for the person’s name and phone number and call the EFS or Comdata dedicated phone line.
  3. Make sure your cashiers are aware of this scam and have a clear process for what to do if they suspect fraud.

Here are some other sources to help prevent check fraud:

Check Acceptance Tips
Avoiding Cashier's Check Fraud

 

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About the Author

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte serves as Vice President of Membership at NATSO. In this role, he directs recruitment, retention and customer service for truckstop and travel plaza members. He is also responsible for developing NATSO products and programs, particularly those relating to education, research and training for truckstop and travel plaza operators.

Schulte also leads NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program. A Profitable Retail Review is a custom assessment of your truckstop, including recommendations for every aspect of your facility, from actionable ideas to improve revenue to tactical ways to improve your net operating costs. Learn about NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program here.

Schulte joined NATSO with nearly three decades of experience in truckstop and travel plaza operations and merchandising. Schulte has worked for: 

  • Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores,
  • HESS Corporation, 
  • Petro Stopping Centers, and
  • TSC Global/Barjan LLC.