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.

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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.

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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 as of 2004, the median annual salary for fraud investigators was about $45,000. The lowest 10% of fraud investigators earned about $27,000 and the highest 10% earned about $73,000. As you can see, the variance is significant; this depends on education, experience, geographic location, and specific employment situation (e.g., government job or private sector job).

Fraud Investigator Career Outlook

Through 2016, the employment of fraud investigators is anticipated to grow about a rate of about 9%. Due to the frequency of fraudulent activity through online and electronic means, the outlook for this job is positive.

Fraud Investigation Related Degrees from Accredited Criminal Justice Schools

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University of Phoenix
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • A.A. in Criminal Justice
  • A.A. in Accounting Fundamentals
  • B.S. in Accounting

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Capella University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • MS - Criminal Justice
  • PhD - Criminal Justice
  • BS - Criminal Justice

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Colorado Technical University Online
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: Human Services
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice

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Keiser University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Criminal Justice, BA
  • Criminal Justice, AA
  • Accounting, BA

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Walden University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • B.S. in Criminal Justice - Crime and Criminals
  • Doctor of Social Work - Criminal Justice
  • B.S. in Criminal Justice

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Keiser University Graduate School
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Criminal Justice, MA (Online)
  • Master of Accountancy with concentrations in General Accounting and Forensic Accounting
  • MBA - Accounting (Online)

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California University of Pennsylvania
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Master of Science in Legal Studies: Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Legal Studies: Law and Public Policy
  • Bachelor of Arts in Jurisprudence: Legal Studies


Page Edited by Charles Sipe.