Home / Credit News / Crime Pays: Thieves Run Up $31,000 on Government Credit Card

There was an interesting story on credit.com this morning that underlines a point small businesses everywhere should be on the lookout for.

Just last May it was discovered that thieves had gained access to a Pennsylvania county government credit card and racked up $31,000 dollars worth of gasoline over the last calendar year. How that much dough slips under the radar, I don't know.

My first thought was since card holders aren't responsible for fraudulent charges, the county won't have anything to worry about. But while these luxuries exist for personal accounts, businesses aren't so lucky.

Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, consumers aren’t responsible for fraudulent charges made to a personal credit card, but those same protections don’t apply to business cards.

Detweiler gave the example of a small business owner who hired a driver and gave him a company card to pay for gas. When the employee stopped working for him, the employee continued to use the card for personal expenses, and the employer had to foot the bill.

“The owner of the company was liable for those because of the way his agreement read, because he had authorized this employee to use the card,” she said.

According to WTAE television in Pittsburgh the investigation is still on going.

So if you have a small business, what can you do to protect yourself from fraudulent charges on your company credit card? First off, be careful who you're handing out your card to. Instead of handing your card to the driver to use for gas, arrange a reimbursement program so they can get their money and you can keep your mind at ease.

If there's anyway to keep your business credit card out of the wrong hands, it's worth a try.