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(DAY 205) Fuel Pump Frauds and Overbilling

· 3 min read
Gaurav Parashar

Filling up our petrol tank is a routine task we often take for granted. We pull into a petrol station, swipe our cards or hand over cash, and expect to receive the correct amount of fuel for our payment. However, recent incidents of frauds and overbilling at petrol pumps have made it clear that we can no longer be complacent when it comes to fueling up our vehicles. Yesterday, I avoided overbilling at a petrol pump nearby and I am writing to explain why it's crucial to stay vigilant to protect your hard-earned money.

The Growing Concern - Fraud and Overbilling

Fuel pump frauds and overbilling have become a growing concern for consumers across the globe. This deceptive practice occurs when petrol pump attendants manipulate the fuel dispensing meters or inflate the billed amount, resulting in customers paying more than they should for their fuel. While this problem has been around for a while, it seems to persist despite various preventive measures.

Why Vigilance is Crucial

Yesterday, I had a personal encounter with this issue that highlighted the importance of vigilance when refueling. As I pulled into Modern Fuels, Petrol Pump, Bharat Petroleum and tapped my card to pay for the fuel, I was initially oblivious to the potential threat of overbilling. However, something didn't seem right, and my gut feeling told me to be cautious. After receiving the nozzle and filling my tank, I asked for the bill. To my surprise, the amount on the bill was significantly higher than what I had expected. I immediately realized that I was a victim of overbilling. Without hesitation, I asked for the manager of the petrol pump to come and discuss the matter.

Frauds at Modern Fuels, Petrol Pump, Bharat Petroleum, 14 September 2023

Taking Action Against Fraud

Upon the manager's arrival, I calmly explained the situation, emphasizing that I had been overcharged for my fuel. I also mentioned that I had observed some suspicious behavior from the staff during the refueling process. The manager was understanding and promptly reviewed the situation. It was evident that the pump attendant had overbilled. This unethical behavior was not only a breach of trust but also a violation of the law.

Protecting Yourself from Fuel Pump Frauds

While my incident had a positive outcome, not every situation may be resolved as easily. To protect yourself from fuel pump frauds and overbilling, here are some essential tips:

1. Stay Vigilant: Pay close attention to the fuel meter while refueling. Ensure it starts from zero and stops promptly when you finish.

2. Ask for a Bill: Always ask for a printed bill, even if you're using a tap-to-pay card. Verify the amount on the bill before leaving the petrol station.

3. Use Tap-to-Pay Cards with Caution: While tap-to-pay cards offer convenience, they can also make it easier for fraudsters to overbill you. Always double-check the amount charged.

4. Report Suspicious Activity: If you notice anything unusual or suspicious behavior at the petrol pump, report it to the station manager or contact the authorities if necessary.

Fuel pump frauds and overbilling are issues that affect consumers globally. As I experienced firsthand, vigilance is your best defense against falling victim to these scams. Remember to be attentive when filling up your tank, ask for a bill, and review your payment statements. By staying alert and informed, you can protect your wallet and contribute to a safer and more honest refueling experience for all.