How Do I Become a Fraud Investigator?

If you have a detective’s desire to get to the bottom of lies and the patience and detail-oriented nature to collect and thoroughly review evidence of potential falsehoods, you might be wondering about how to become a fraud investigator. Fraud is the act of misleading or deceiving a person or organization, typically in order to attain some sort of financial gain, and is unethical and illegal. In the legal system, fraud can be a criminal charge or the basis for a civil claim. A fraud investigator is a professional who examines a claim to determine if it is fraudulent. Fraud investigators, sometimes also called fraud examiners, often work for insurance companies, banks, or law enforcement agencies.

The day-to-day tasks of a fraud investigator vary. He or she may review insurance claims that are suspected of being fraudulent as well as any documents related to those claims. A fraud investigator in any setting may have to question the individual thought to be lying, or witnesses to the case in question, in hopes of determining the truth. At times, a fraud investigator many follow those thought to be guilty of fraud and document their whereabouts with photographs.

Preparing for a career in fraud investigation depends on the field in which a candidate hopes to find employment. For example, a fraud investigator may begin his or her career as a police officer, if interested in law enforcement fraud divisions, or a financial trader, if interested in bank or finance fraud. Typically, aspiring fraud investigators pursue a bachelor’s degree in a subject such as business, accounting, or criminal justice. Some employers may consider candidates who have only a high school diploma but have gained hands-on knowledge of their industry through work experience, although having a degree can make candidates more competitive and boost their earning potential. Completing an internship during a candidate’s college career can help aspiring fraud investigators gain the real-world experience in fraud investigation they need to secure a permanent job in this occupation.

Fraud investigators who are serious about excelling in the field should consider seeking certification from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. A fraud investigator with a bachelor’s degree and two years of experience in the field can take the examination to become a Certified Fraud Investigator. This designation demonstrates ethics and dedication to the field.

The median annual salary of fraud investigators across the nation is $51,474, according to Holding an advanced degree or a degree in a sought-after subject, like criminal justice, may entitle candidates to higher salaries. For many fraud investigators, knowing that their work has prevented dishonest people from getting their hands on undeserved money is one benefit of the position. If you are curious and have the skills and dedication to thoroughly scrutinize suspicious insurance claims, banking transactions or behavior toward consumers, knowing how to become a fraud investigator could be the beginning of a satisfying new career in the insurance, financial or law enforcement field.

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