Fraud analysts are responsible for investigating illegal and fraudulent activity within industries like banking, insurance and healthcare. As a fraud analyst, you must be able to detect small inconsistencies in claims or activity, which takes impressive research and sleuthing skills. Entry into this field typically requires a bachelor’s degree. Those meeting experience and training requirements may also receive certification.
Fraud analysts investigate suspicious activities, write reports, present evidence and provide businesses and companies with ways to improve fraud detection. They must coordinate with law enforcement professionals and attorneys, gather financial documents and conduct surveillance. Job duties can vary based on the industry that a fraud analyst is employed in. For example, fraud analysts working for banks may research online bank logs and review online fraud risk for banking customers, as well as identify potential flaws in the security protection for the bank as a whole. Medical fraud analysts working for the state will research documentation patterns in claimants' medical records and billing, as well as analyze claims to find suspicious activity.
Education and Training Requirements
A bachelor’s degree in a major like finance or auditing is typically required to get you into the field of fraud analysis. A master's degree is also an option; however, the bachelor’s degree is the most popular among fraud analysts. Knowledge of law and government is required to understand legal codes and regulations when working with suspects and law enforcement. Formal training in software programs, electronics and databases may also be required to work in online or computer fraud claims. Employers may also require fraud analysts to be certified through the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, which typically requires a bachelor’s degree and experience.
Skills and Experience Needed
While entry-level positions are available with little or no experience, qualified fraud analysts typically hold between one and four years of experience. Successful fraud analysts must have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills to research and detect fraudulent claims in several industries. They must be able to communicate with witnesses, claimants and experts, as well as interview witnesses and take statements. Since fraud analysts may deal with unwilling suspects or claimants, they must have strong interpersonal skills. Due to varying work schedules, fraud analysts should be flexible and willing to work on evenings and weekends.
Job Outlook and Salary
Jobs for claims examiners, including fraud analysts, are projected to be best for those working in health insurance, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The field is projected to see a slower than average growth of 3 percent from 2010 to 2020. The median annual pay for claims examiners is $59,960 per year. The lowest paid workers made less than $36,950, and the top paid workers made more $89,810. Popular industries for fraud analysts are insurance, financial services, credit card issuing and e-commerce.