Fuel Pump Fraud Mitigation

Approximately 1.3 percent of total U.S. payment fraud occurs at fuel pumps. The gas station can be a popular first stop for fraudsters because they can test stolen or counterfeit cards without the risk of facing an employee. Research shows that when prompted to go inside a store to complete a transaction, most criminals will drive away instead.

As an issuer, your financial institution benefits from the following Visa fraud mitigation tools. Another layer of mitigation will be implemented with chip technology at AFDs in October 2020.


Visa Transaction Advisor (VTA) is a merchant service that has been able to reduce fraud by more than half for merchants using the service.

When a debit card is inserted at the pump, Visa analyzes more than 500 pieces of data about the cardholder’s account and global fraud trends. VTA determines the risk of the transaction and provides a risk score that helps merchants identify transactions with a higher risk of fraud.

If a transaction is denied, the cardholder may be prompted to go inside the station to pay. If the cardholder does go inside, the clerk will swipe the card to preauthorize the transaction and the cardholder can then pump their fuel up to that preauthorized amount.

The reject reason on CMSe for the original transaction will be “AE-Account on Neg File” and the denial on Data Navigator will be “903-Re-enter Transaction.” This message also appears if a cardholder was asked at the pump to key in their zip code and the incorrect zip was keyed.


Address Verification Service (AVS) verifies the card ZIP Code. If the cardholder swipes their card at the fuel pump and is prompted to enter their zip code, the merchant sends an AVS ZIP request to the issuer. The issuer responds with a code that indicates whether the zip code given by the cardholder matches the address in CMSe. A partial or no-match response may indicate an elevated fraud risk. Depending on the risk score, the cardholder could proceed with pumping fuel, be prompted to pre-pay inside the store or be denied. The AVS process is separate from the transaction authorization process.


Velocity Checking is a feature of SecurLOCK Fraud Manager that monitors the frequency of transactions on the same card. Two AFD transactions for the same card within a 24-hour period at the same location will cause the cardholder to be directed to the store to complete the purchase on the third attempt.