How to Become a Fraud Investigator

With the never-ending growth of technology and electronic communication, the possibilities for fraudulent activity increase as well. Due to this circumstance, many people have acquired positions in the profession of fraud investigator.

A fraud investigator plays a part in the criminal justice system by performing a variety of tasks for both civil and criminal investigations. They can investigate cases of fraud involving the use of credit cards that have been reported as lost or stolen, including interviewing and working with postal officials when the offenses have occurred through the mail. They interview various people who are touched by fraudulent activity, including complainants, employers, and witnesses. They research records and transactions, particularly those that are electronic. They may even serve and execute search warrants and conduct surveillance to collect evidence of fraudulent activity. Finally, they work with members of the criminal justice system, including prosecutors or attorney generals, presenting investigation results and testifying in court.

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How to Become a Fraud Investigator: Education & Other Requirements

To become a fraud examiner, formal education is important. Those who earn degrees in economic crime, fraud management, accounting, criminal justice, law, or business administration are the most highly qualified to become a fraud examiner. Some states require that fraud examiners are licensed, and some require that they participate in seminars, workshops, and other forms of continuing education.

In addition to formal training, those applicants who have experience with criminal investigation or with investigating the background of individuals, suspect business practice, or insurance casualty claims are most likely to be the first hired as a fraud investigator. Skills that a potential fraud investigator must possess include the ability to interview and take statements, the ability to write reports, and knowledge of how to collect and preserve evidence. In addition, fraud investigators must be ethical and excellent communicators.

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Fraud Investigator Salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that private detectives and investigators earn a median salary of $45,740 per year.1 The BLS reports that detectives and criminal investigators (which excludes private detectives and investigators) earn an average annual salary of $79,030.2 Individual salary can depend on factors like education, experience, geographic location, and specific employment situation (e.g. government job or private sector job).

Fraud Investigator Career Outlook

The BLS reports a projected employment growth of 11% for private detectives and investigators from 2012-2022, which is about as fast as the average occupation.1

Criminal Justice and Fraud Examination Management Programs

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Interested in a career similar to a fraud investigator? Check out these related careers:

References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/private-detectives-and-investigators.htm
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333021.htm

Page Edited by Charles Sipe.