Fraud investigators work for a wide array of agencies including insurance companies, child protection bureaus and private investigators to name a few. As a fraud investigator, your role will be to detect fraud so that the perpetrators of this fraud can be punished accordingly. Becoming a successful fraud investigator requires precisely the right combination of education and experience in order to become successful.
Associate’s Degree $58,460
High School or GED
High School or GED
Obtaining an Associate’s degree could be a first step toward becoming a fraud investigator. This degree could be in private investigation, criminal justice, police science or even legal studies. Taking courses that deal with writing statements, gathering evidence and surveillance will be especially helpful to you later. Some other classes you could be required to take include:
- Public Speaking
- Criminal Behavior
- Introduction to Courts and Corrections
- Business Law
Many schools will allow you to participate in an internship program just prior to graduation, even if you are primarily taking classes online. If you are able to secure an internship, look for one with an insurance company or government agency that is responsible for dispersing benefits, as this will give you practical experience that will be useful to you later.
Alternatively, many individuals prefer to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Doing so can help set you apart from other candidates that have only an Associate’s degree, while also preparing you for a supervisory role within an organization later.
When pursuing a Bachelor’s degree, you can also elect to concentrate in areas such as Human Services, Institutional Health Care, or Insurance. Specializing in one of these fields can be a good idea if you are sure as to the type of organization you would like to work in after graduation.
Before graduation, apply for Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) testing, which is offered by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Before taking this test, you will be required to attend a CFE exam review course that is designed to prepare you for the actual examination. This course is 3 ½ days long, and covers all the material you will need in order to successfully pass this test. Study guides will be given at the end of the seminar so that you can continue to prepare on your own.
Applying for the Job
Obtain help with creating your resume from the career services department of your college, so that you will be ready to start applying for work as soon as you graduate. Ask one or two professors at your college to provide you with a letter of recommendation to attach to your resume as well. One of these letters should carry a great deal of clout, since those who teach at the college level typically have lots of experience in the field, and also know some of the people who are responsible for making hiring decisions.
In addition, you will likely need to undergo a criminal background check, DMV check and a drug screening. Depending upon the agency you apply to, a polygraph test could be required as well. Several rounds of interviews are normally needed in order to choose the very best candidate from amongst the pool of applicants. Written exams are sometimes used to help identify those with special skills and abilities, are normally targeted toward specific niche industries.
When others commit fraud, the cost of things such as insurance increase dramatically for honest, law-abiding citizens. As a fraud investigator, you will play an important role in saving people money by identifying those who commit indiscretions. Although much of your work is done behind the scenes, the importance of it cannot be underestimated.