Career Development

What Does a Fraud Specialist Do?

Find out what a fraud specialist does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a fraud specialist.

Fraud specialists are responsible for investigating cases of fraud, theft, and other financial crimes. They commonly work with law enforcement agencies to investigate these types of crimes and help build a case against the perpetrator.

Fraud specialists may also be tasked with developing new ways to prevent future instances of fraud from occurring. This might include creating new policies or procedures that aim to deter potential criminals from committing fraudulent acts in the future.

Fraud Specialist Job Duties

Fraud specialists have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Investigating financial crimes such as embezzlement or money laundering
  • Reviewing bank records for signs of fraudulent activity, such as large cash deposits made in the weeks following a burglary
  • Working with investigators to determine whether a crime has been committed or whether further investigation is needed
  • Interviewing witnesses and suspects to gather information about cases
  • Determining whether financial institutions or individuals have been victimized by fraud or other crimes involving money or property
  • Interviewing victims of fraud to determine what happened and how much money was lost
  • Conducting forensic analyses of computers to recover data that may have been erased or modified
  • Maintaining records of investigations and case evidence for use in court proceedings
  • Preparing briefs regarding findings and recommendations based on investigations

Fraud Specialist Salary & Outlook

Fraud specialists’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the company size and location. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses or commissions.

  • Median Annual Salary: $47,000 ($22.6/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $87,500 ($42.07/hour)

The employment of fraud specialists is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for fraud specialists is expected to increase as organizations seek to prevent and detect fraudulent activities. Organizations will need to hire more fraud specialists to help reduce losses from fraud.

Related: Fraud Specialist Interview Questions and Answers

Fraud Specialist Job Requirements

Fraud specialists typically need to have the following qualifications:

Education: Fraud specialists are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, accounting, finance or another closely related field. Some fraud specialists choose to earn a master’s degree in criminal justice or fraud management to increase their earning potential and qualify for higher-level fraud specialist positions.

Training & Experience: Fraud specialists typically receive on-the-job training after they are hired. This training may include learning the company’s policies and procedures, as well as the software and technology they use. Fraud specialists may also receive training in fraud prevention and detection.

Certifications & Licenses: Fraud specialists may pursue certifications to gain additional knowledge about their responsibilities, test their professional skills and further advance their career.

Fraud Specialist Skills

Fraud specialists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Technical skills: The ability to use technology and software is an important skill for a fraud specialist. You may be required to use software to track and monitor suspicious activity, create graphs and charts to illustrate data and more. Familiarity with computer programs and software is an important skill for a fraud specialist.

Communication skills: Communication skills are essential in a fraud specialist position. You may be required to communicate with clients over the phone, in person or through email. You may also be required to communicate with other professionals in the company, such as accountants or IT specialists. Effective communication skills can help you to convey your ideas clearly and understand the ideas of others.

Analytical skills: Analytical skills are the ability to gather information and draw conclusions from it. This is an important skill for a fraud specialist because they need to be able to analyze information and determine if it’s a legitimate threat or not.

Problem-solving skills: As a fraud specialist, you may be required to develop solutions to prevent future fraud. This may involve brainstorming ideas with other members of your team or devising a plan to change the way your company processes transactions. Your ability to solve problems can help you develop effective solutions.

Business acumen: Business acumen is the ability to understand the financial aspects of a business. This can include knowledge of how a company’s revenue and expenses are balanced, how to read a profit-and-loss statement and how to interpret other financial documents. Having business acumen can help you understand the importance of the work you do as a fraud specialist and help you explain the importance of your work to others.

Fraud Specialist Work Environment

Fraud specialists work in a variety of settings, including corporate fraud departments, government agencies, and private investigative firms. They typically work full time, and some may work more than 40 hours per week. Many fraud specialists work on cases that require them to travel. Some fraud specialists work from home, and some may be required to work on weekends or evenings to complete their investigations. Fraud specialists may be under a great deal of stress because they must meet deadlines, work on complex cases, and deal with difficult people.

Fraud Specialist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how fraud specialists work. Fraud specialists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Cybercrime

The growth of cybercrime is a trend that is having a significant impact on businesses around the world. As technology advances, criminals are finding new and innovative ways to exploit vulnerabilities in order to steal money and data.

Fraud specialists can help protect businesses from cybercrime by developing strategies to detect and prevent attacks. They can also work with law enforcement to help prosecute criminals who are caught in the act.

More Focus on Data Analytics

As businesses become more reliant on data analytics, fraud specialists will need to focus on developing skills in this area.

By understanding how to analyze data, fraud specialists can better identify patterns that indicate potential fraudulent activity. This allows them to not only stop fraud before it happens, but also to help businesses understand what types of data they should be collecting in the first place.

Greater Collaboration Between Law Enforcement and Financial Institutions

Law enforcement and financial institutions have traditionally had a difficult relationship, as each has different goals and priorities. However, recent years have seen an increased emphasis on collaboration between these two groups.

This trend is likely to continue as financial institutions become increasingly concerned about fraud and look for ways to partner with law enforcement to reduce their risk. Fraud specialists will need to be able to navigate this changing landscape in order to best serve their clients.

How to Become a Fraud Specialist

A fraud specialist career can be very rewarding, but it’s important to consider all the factors before making a decision. One of the most important things is to make sure that you have the right skills and qualifications for the job. You should also think about what type of work environment would be best for you.

If you want to become a fraud specialist, there are several ways you can get started. You can start by taking some online courses or attending workshops on fraud detection. You can also volunteer at local charities or non-profit organizations to gain experience in this field.

Once you have the necessary skills and experience, you can apply for jobs as a fraud specialist. There are many different types of jobs in this field, so you should look for one that matches your interests and skills.

Advancement Prospects

Fraud specialists can advance their careers by taking on more responsibility within their organization, such as leading a team of investigators or taking on a managerial role. They can also advance by becoming certified fraud examiners or pursuing advanced degrees in fraud management or criminology.

Fraud Specialist Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are committed to providing our customers with the highest level of security and protection against fraud. We are looking for a highly skilled and experienced fraud specialist to join our team. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in fraud detection and prevention, as well as experience in data analysis and risk management. He or she will be responsible for developing and implementing strategies to identify and prevent fraud, as well as investigating and resolving fraud cases. In addition, the fraud specialist will be responsible for training staff on fraud prevention and detection measures.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Investigate and analyze potential fraudulent activity
  • Identify patterns of fraud and recommend process improvements to prevent future occurrences
  • Work with law enforcement as needed to prosecute fraudsters
  • Prepare detailed reports documenting findings
  • Stay up-to-date on current fraud trends
  • Assist in the development and implementation of new fraud prevention measures
  • Train staff on fraud prevention procedures
  • Monitor customer accounts for suspicious activity
  • Review documentation for accuracy and completeness
  • Investigate customer complaints
  • Respond to inquiries from customers, employees, and other stakeholders
  • Maintain confidentiality of sensitive information

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, finance, or related field
  • 3-5 years professional experience in fraud prevention, detection, and investigation
  • Strong analytical skills with the ability to identify trends and patterns
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, with aptitude to learn new software and systems
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • CFE, CPA, or CIA certification
  • Experience working in the banking or financial services industry
  • Experience with data mining and analysis tools, such as SAS, SQL, or R
  • Familiarity with anti-money laundering (AML) compliance regulations


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