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How to become a Fraud Analyst?

Good Morning,

I am interested in Fraud Analysis, I would like to know how to become one. What course you need to take. Where can I get an internship. exams

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Thomas’s Answer

"A fraud investigation analyst investigates and prevents frauds. One part financial analyst and one part detective, fraud analysts work for insurance companies but are collaborative partners with law enforcement. As a fraud investigation analyst, you must be familiar with finance, computer systems and research methods. Fraud analysts are included in the "Claims Adjusters, Appraisers, Examiners and Investigators" category by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reports a median income of $66,540 annually as of May 2019.

Get the Degree
The best fraud analyst degree is a bachelor's. Although no specific field of study is required, fraud analysts typically have bachelor's degrees in computer science, finance, banking or a related field. If you haven't yet finished your degree, two years of fraud-related professional experience can be substituted for each year of college.

Gain Professional Experience
Obtain relevant work experience. To become certified by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, or ACFE, fraud analysts must have at least two years of professional experience detecting or deterring fraud. ACFE's website indicates your experience must be in the areas of accounting and auditing, criminology, sociology, fraud investigation, loss prevention or law. If your experience doesn't fit one of these categories you can write ACFE, detailing your work experiences and asking them for a review.

Obtain Certification
Take the Certified Fraud Examiner's, or CFE, test, and obtain a passing score to qualify for fraud analyst certification. This is a computer software program that you can take from your home. The examination is intensive, taking approximately 10 hours. You must finish the exam within 30 days. The exam has four sections that you must complete in a maximum of 2.6 hours apiece. Each section contains 125 questions and you get 75 seconds to answer each. The four tested areas are law, preventing and deterring fraud, investigating fraud and financial transactions. You have to complete each section in one sitting only, but can take each of the four sections at a different time.

Request Professional References
As the ACFE instructs, candidates should submit three references from people who have seen their work. These people should complete a CFE candidate recommendation form, commenting on your integrity, character and job skills.

Submit the Application
Complete the ACFE application form, submitting your current passport, documentation of your references and education plus a $200 fee. ACFE will review your application, assigning points for your education and experience as indicated on the application form. Certification requires you to have earned 50 points and have all your documentation approved by ACFE."

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Wayne’s Answer

Hi Justine,

A fraud analyst is someone who investigates forgery and theft within customers’ accounts and transactions on behalf of a bank or a financial institution. They track and monitor the bank’s transactions and activity that comes through the customers’ accounts. It is their job to identify and trace any suspicious or high-risk transactions, determine if there is improper activity involved, and determine if there is any risk to the bank or its customers.

A bachelor’s degree is required in order to become a fraud analyst, with a concentration in finance, business, mathematics, or economics.

Beyond that, it will be helpful to have any experience in programs or projects that can project a clear problem-solving or investigative ability. These traits are critical, and it is vital that the applicant can display a knack for quickly solving complex problems or spotting errors and discrepancies that the normal eye may not be able to see.

Good luck!
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Abhi’s Answer

One way is to get a CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner) accreditation. Many in this journey do their CPA and work at Accounting firms but rather than focus on Audit or Taxation, they focus on Forensic Accounting. While many accounting firms have fraud/forensic/investigations in their portfolio, if you want to go big, focus on the Big Firms e.g. Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Deloitte, KPMG and try to get an internship or an associate role there
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Lauren’s Answer

Hi Justine,
Great Question! In college I majored in accounting and then minored in both criminal justice and political science. I had wanted to get a general background in government as well as the legal perspectives that can provide you with a foundational background in fraud/forensics. I also think those two minors really complement my accounting degree, especially since I had planned to work in the fraud prevention and detection profession after college. I would recommend checking to see if your university/college offers a program like this built right into your major or if it is something you can add onto your existing academic plan. I also recommend looking into forensic consulting internships at the Big 4 accounting firms, an experience with one of those firms will really set you up nicely in terms of gaining that hands-on technical experience while you're still a student.

You can also get involved in the organization called the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), they offer student memberships that can provide you with a way to network with fraud/forensics professionals. They also have many resources you can utilize to better educate yourself in the profession of fraud prevention and detection. They even have a really great educational podcast on Spotify/Apple Music called "Fraud Talk" you should consider checking out. Additionally, think about looking into the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) certification to advance and diversify your skillset in the profession.