How to Become a

Fraud Investigator

The complete career guide to be a Fraud Investigator: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $72,480
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 4.9%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Get to Travel
    Career Attribute

The role of a fraud investigator is to closely evaluate and investigate a wide range of theft and fraud cases. This involves collecting relevant evidence, noting statements from subjects and testifying about the investigation of fraud allegations.


What is a Fraud Investigator?

Duties

The primary job duties of fraud investigators include the following duties:

  • Track down and conduct interviews of individuals suspected of illegal or suspicious activities, absent family and company employees to gain information; then assess the evidence compiled through the course of the investigation.
  • Undertake thorough research and assessment based on the internal protocols of the organization and other intelligence data to narrow down and find evidence for safekeeping.
  • Engage in continuous learning to update your professional expertise and skillset via seminars and workshops, new editions of academic publication and reviews of websites on regulatory standards.
  • Go through relevant case documentation to examine fraud suspect’s history of alleged violations, and store information when required for future reference.
  • Create professional reports and summaries with supporting evidence of an investigation once the decision is made, so it can be shared with management and the field investigator as needed.

Day In The Life

A fraud investigator has to perform various kinds of work to further criminal and civil investigations. Depending on where you are working, you may look into cases of insurance fraud and credit card fraud, by taking interviews of and collaborating with different persons connected to the investigation – complainants, company representatives and witnesses. Your research may expand to pulling up financial transactions and banking records, to get a search warrant and monitor suspects who might be guilty of fraudulent actions.

Through the day, you will be coordinating with law enforcement agencies and officials of criminal justice, like appraisers, lawyers, police, and attorney generals to further your investigation. Another important aspect of the job is briefing multiple stakeholders in senior management and other departments from time to time, depending on the sensitive nature of the investigation. As part of your day to day responsibilities, you could sometimes have to handle annoyed clients, complete difficult phone conversations with suspects and fraud victims, as well as understand potential fraud situations.

Work Schedule And Typical Hours

Being a fraud investigator means you will typically be working in an office setting and enjoy standard business hours. Depending on your workload, you might need to be comfortable working a flexible schedule, possibly including nights and weekends. There will be frequent travel from office to different settings for conducting detailed interviews, evaluating accidents and doing background checks.  Much of the time however, will be spent in front of a computer or taking calls for more information related to the ongoing investigation and any surveillance.

Growth Of The Job

With increasing threats of security breaches and technology hacks, there are more occurrences of fraudulent acts than before. There is a steady growth in experienced fraud investigators for digital mediums. However, the job demand will be slower than the average at 3%.

Typical Employers

Fraud investigators are usually hired by government authorities like the federal bureau of investigation (FBI), different police departments, banks, insurance companies, and medical or healthcare facilities. A few investigators also choose to take on independent business ventures and build a strong client network. Employment will involve dealing with investigations in diverse areas like suspicious accidents, lawsuits, health issues and arson.


How To Become a Fraud Investigator

To become a fraud investigator, you need to at least have a high school diploma to qualify for any entry-level role in this industry. Some mid to senior positions may also require a bachelor’s degree in a relevant area like engineering, criminal justice, information technology, fraud management, business studies, finance, accounting or economics. Having a combination of different coursework is always beneficial, depending on the type of fraud you want to specialise in. In addition, some states require fraud investigators to complete certain licensing and continuing education requirements. Completing a certification in fraud investigation is lucrative and can result in more promising career prospects.

If you are interested in a career in anti-fraud, you need to have a way of negotiating and interact effectively with various third party vendors, law enforcement and intelligence agencies, to gather intelligence. In addition, having advanced skills in using computer software applications like Excel, Word and Microsoft Office Suite is a big bonus. Since much of the work requires you to commute, having a valid drivers’ license and being able to travel is also a must.


Fraud Investigator Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range

$49,590

Average

$72,480

High Range

$112,140

National Hourly Wage

Low Range

$24/hr

Average

$35/hr

High Range

$54/hr

How do Fraud Investigator salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Fraud Investigator's can make an average annual salary of $72,480, or $35 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $49,590 or $24 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #181 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally


Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Fraud Investigator. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.


Highest Education Among Fraud Investigators

  • 2.6%   Doctorate
  • 22.9%   Masters
  • 37.7%   Bachelors
  • 8.7%   Associates
  • 16.6%   College
  • 10.4%   High School
  • 1.2%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

145,200

2024 Est. Jobs

152,300

Job Growth Rate

4.9%

Est. New Jobs

7,100

How does Fraud Investigator job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 7,100 jobs for a total of 152,300 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 4.9% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #441 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally


What Companies Employ The Most Fraud Investigators

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Federal government, excluding postal service 23,200 -2,200 -2%
Depository credit intermediation 21,000 1,300 1%
Management of companies and enterprises 11,900 500 1%

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