How to Become A Fraud Investigator

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Tasks and Responsibilities

A fraud investigator performs the following tasks:

  • Document all investigations
  • Prepare written reports of investigation results
  • Prepare evidence for presentation in court
  • Testify in court about investigation findings
  • Interview suspects and witnesses and record their statements
  • Coordinate investigative efforts with attorneys and law enforcement officers
  • Provide suggestions to agencies and businesses about ways to improve fraud detection
  • Collect financial documents related to investigation
  • Conduct in-depth financial activity investigation
  • Create and maintain databases of information about fraudulent activity
  • Analyze financial data to detect irregularities in areas such as financial relationships, billing trends, and regulatory compliance procedures.
  • Design, implement, and maintain fraud detection tools
  • Lead and participate in fraud investigation teams
  • Review investigation reports to determine need for further investigation
  • Provide training to others in fraud investigation and prevention techniques
  • Assess business operations to identify risk areas of fraud
  • Negotiate with parties about recovery of losses due to fraud
  • Research and examine new technologies for use in fraud detection systems
  • Obtain and serve subpoenas
  • Arrest individuals charged with fraud

Is fraud investigation the right career choice for you?

Fraud investigators must possess a number of communication, interpersonal, and stress management skills. Mentioned below are the qualities of an effective fraud investigator:

  • Integrity
  • Attention to detail
  • Analytical thinking
  • Dependability
  • Persistence
  • Initiative
  • Self control
  • Stress tolerance
  • Flexibility
  • Cooperation
  • Leadership
  • Innovation

Fraud investigators may specialize in three types of industries:

Finance and Insurance industry

The finance and insurance industry employs fraud investigators within a finance firm, a government agency, or a large investment firm. The responsibilities of these individuals include reviewing and investigating suspicious activity. Due to the complex nature of finance, this industry requires substantial knowledge and training in order to perform investigations.

Consumer protection industry

Fraud investigators in the consumer protection industry work in the consumer departments of various police and government agencies. These investigators are also often called in the criminal courts to provide evidence.

Forensics industry

Fraud investigators in the forensics industry work for large accounting firms or police agencies. They provide the detailed analysis and evidence collecting required for court cases.

Become a Fraud Investigator

Educational Requirements

Usually a high school diploma is required for an entry-level job in fraud investigation. A bachelor’s degree in law, business administration, fraud management, economic crime, criminal justice or accounting may be required by some employers. Companies might also prefer candidates who have completed law enforcement training. Continuing education courses are essential for fraud investigators to stay up-to-date with federal laws which may affect how fraud cases are handled.

The exact educational and experience requirements to become a fraud investigator vary depending on the industry and specialization.

Financial Fraud Investigator: A fraud investigator in the finance industry usually possesses:

  • A bachelor’s degree in business or accounting
  • Advanced certification in auditing, investigation, or finance
  • At least five years of experience in the financial industry

Forensic Fraud investigator: Most forensic investigators begin their careers as accountants in an auditing firm. They may obtain additional certification while performing a range of audit tasks. In order to become a forensic fraud investigator, usually the following are required:

  • To be a certified public accountant
  • Additional courses may be required to obtain the designation of a Certified Fraud Examiner.

Consumer Fraud investigator: To become this type of investigator:

  • A background in business, private investigation, or research is helpful
  • There are usually no specific educational or experience requirements for this type of job

Licensure Requirements

Candidates must comply with the laws of the state in which they wish to practice fraud investigation. The licensure requirements may vary from one state to another. Some states require the investigator to take pre-licensing education courses and take an exam before he/she obtains a license. Other states allow the investigator to work under a license obtained by his/her company and they may not necessarily have to obtain a license.

Investigators may be required to take continuing education courses before allowing the license to be renewed every year.

Salary and Advancement

The median annual wages of fraud investigators was $ 61,160 in May 2012, according to O*Net Online. Actual salary may vary by different amounts depending on the specialization within the field, years of experience, and a number of other factors. Typically promotions of these professionals pertain to supervisory positions within law enforcement agencies for which fraud investigators work. The projected job openings for fraud investigators are 25,800 from 2012 to 2022, according to O*Net Online.


Category: Forex

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