Fraud Analyst Job Description
Insurance companies, banks, retailers, and a multitude of other organizations hire fraud analysts to detect and deter deceitful actions. While unlawful activities such as fake claims and false IDs have been burdensome for years, modern booms in technology have opened up a new playing field for creative tricksters. Fraud analysts use everything at their disposal to catch these thieves. As employers are eager to solve problems and not lose money, the work environment for fraud analysts is often fast-paced and stressful. Hours can be full or part time, usually in an office, although some fraud analysts work from home. With experience, analysts oftentimes move into roles such as compliance specialist or loss prevention investigator.
Fraud Analyst Duties and Responsibilities
While the daily activities of fraud analysts vary by the industry in which they are employed, our evaluation of job postings revealed some core tasks central to the position, including the following:
Resolve Fraud Cases
When someone gets wind of a possible scam or similar problem affecting the organization or its customers, fraud analysts spring to action. For instance, when a person who spots unauthorized charges on her credit card statement calls the financial institution that issued the card, the fraud analyst asks questions, fills out proper paperwork, helps with refunds and changing the account number, seeks to pinpoint the source of the fraud, and notifies authorities (fraud analysts do not apprehend, just report).
Monitor Accounts for Fraud
Spotting fraud before it turns into a major issue saves time and money. Fraud analysts at a bank, for example, may notice unusual activities on certain accounts, such as a large number of foreign transactions. By looking for patterns and checking authenticity, a scam may be stopped before spreading further. Researching problems reported at other institutions helps analysts learn more about trending schemes and prevention methods.
Innovate Fraud Prevention Strategies
By looking at data and thinking about fraudulent activity, fraud analysts come up with new techniques to prevent problems from happening. A professional who works for an e-commerce site, for instance, may examine online transactions to improve algorithms designed to separate legitimate customers from people trying to rip off the company.
Fraud analysts need a good comprehension of laws concerning fraud. Such knowledge helps them conduct investigations and collect evidence in ways that ensure the best chances of the guilty parties getting caught and punished.
Fraud Analyst Skills and Qualifications
Good interpersonal skills benefit fraud analysts because they often deal with people who are upset and fearful that they’ve been cheated. A calm, reassuring demeanor promotes level-headedness and quicker resolution. Clear communication helps customers understand the situation. Other elements critical to performance include:
- Attention to detail – perceiving small changes and things that “just don’t seem right” helps detect fraud
- Organization skills – keeping track of what is going on, handling information from various sources, and following up in a methodical manner stops fraud from progressing
- Problem-solving skills – successful fraud analysts are intrigued by complex situations rather than overwhelmed by them; they like to solve puzzles
- Trustworthiness – employers demand honest workers capable of handling sensitive personal information
- Computer competency – fraud analysts use technology to conduct research, correspond with clients and colleagues, leverage data, and monitor activity
Fraud Analyst Education and Training
Most fraud analysts hold a bachelor’s degree in finance, computer science, or a related field. Job prospects increase for people holding certification from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Obtaining that distinction involves education, professional experience, and passing a detailed exam that covers areas such as law, fraud detection, and deterring actions. New hires receive a good amount of on-the-job training to learn the specific employer’s fraud detection measures and procedures for resolving potential fraud situations. All analysts should plan on being lifelong learners since new fraudulent schemes and prevention techniques (especially technological advances) arise frequently.
Fraud Analyst Salary and Outlook
The median annual salary for a fraud analyst, according to PayScale, is about $45,000. Workers on the low end of the pay range earn about $32,000, while the highest paid make more than $67,000 per year. Full-time analysts may receive benefits such as medical insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans.
To help you find more information about fraud analysts, we’ve compiled this list of valuable sources:
Expert Fraud Investigation: A Step-by-Step Guide – gain a greater understanding of all that’s involved in spotting, examining, and resolving potential fraud cases with this book that reviewers call “an excellent primer” and “a must-read for anyone who wants to learn more about the basics”
Association of Certified Fraud Examiners – as a major provider of anti-fraud training and education, the ACFE website is particularly useful to people seeking to advance their careers in the industry. Check out the large section tailored to questions frequently posed by newcomers
Exposing Fraud: Skills, Processes, and Practicalities – this comprehensive book covers best practices and demonstrates how to apply them to a variety of situations in which fraud occurs. It also explores the psychological profiles of those who operate scams and other unethical acts
Fraud Analytics Using Descriptive, Predictive, and Social Network Techniques: A Guide to Data Science for Fraud Detection – stopping fraud before it leads to considerable damage involves paying close attention to details. This textbook explores how to monitor data to alert detectors of potential problems
Payment, Fraud & Crypto Professionals – this LinkedIn group provides a forum for its 37,000-plus members to discuss industry issues
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