Common scams at the fuel pumps — How to prevent Petrol pumps from cheating you?

Petrol pump scams are very common in India. Recently, more than 1,000 fuel pumps in Uttar Pradesh were found scamming the customers of fuel. If you know of the common ways through which the petrol pumps can scam you, the chances of you catching it is much higher. Here are common ways that fuel pumps across India use to scam the customers.

Petrol Pump

Image courtesy : Hindustan Times

Beware of the attendants

This is the most common way of scamming a client’s money. Fuel pump nozzles have a locking technique that keeps the fuel flowing till a predetermined number or till the tank is full. The fuel pump attendants keep their hands on the nozzle and do not lock the system. They keep on stopping and starting the flow of fuel by controlling the nozzle. This method can bring down the quantity of fuel by over a litre if you’re getting the fuel tank full.

Always ask the fuel pump attendant to lock the nozzle and keep his/her hand off it. If the attendant does not listen, file a complaint or simply leave the fuel station.

Long fuel pipes

Having long fuel pipes rather than standard ones is one difficult to detect trick. The fuel station installs longer than required dispensing pipes. The fuel meter calculates wrong due to the longer pipe and causes huge profit to the fuel pump owner. If the pipe is longer, there will be a good amount of residue that will remain in the pipe; the attendant can just pick up the nozzle to a height and send back the fuel to the bunker. If you ever see unusually long pipe at a pump, never fill from there or report it to the authorities.

Attention diversion

This is the oldest trick at the fuel pumps. If you ever see more than one fuel attendant being extra generous and talkative to you be very careful. Fuel attendants generally distract you by engaging you in petty talks like mileage, traffic, fuel additives or mode of payment. The other attendant blocks the view of the meter. The reset that the attendant tries to show you never happens, and you loose out of fuel.

Another way of the similar trick is to stop the fuel midway to reconfirm. In this technique, the fuel attendant will halt the fuel mid-way and will start from there again. For example, if you have asked for Rs. 1,000 fuel, the fuel operator will stop it at Rs. 200 and will ask again. While restarting the attendant would not reset the meter and then will halt the fuel at Rs. 800 saying that he did reset the meter. You lose worth Rs. 200 fuel in this process.


Many fuel pump owners add a large amount of Naptha to petrol. It has the same density and does not leave a residue either, but it is very harmful to the engine over a long time of use. The Naptha is very cheaper than petrol and is a by-product of the distillation process that gives petrol and diesel. There are few pumps that provide a quality check. Do random checks to know if the fuel is safe or not.

If you are still upset with the petrol pump, you can approach the public grievance cell at



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