Read publications such as Fraud Magazine (http://www.fraud-magazine.com) to learn more about fraud cases and anti-fraud business practices and strategies, and to keep up with developments in the industry. Visit the resources section of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Web site (http://www.acfe.com/fraud-resources.aspx) for magazines, podcasts, and blogs on fraud case studies, fraud investigation techniques, and industry news and analysis. An internship or part-time job in a fraud investigation agency or bank or financial institution with a fraud investigation and examination division provides opportunities to learn what's involved in fraud investigation work. Ask your school's career services office for help with researching job and internship openings. Also search for job openings in the career sections of companies' Web sites and online employment sites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, Monster, and SimplyHired.
Fraud examiners, investigators, and analysts work in government agencies in the public and private sectors. They also also work in financial and banking institutions, as well as in private agencies that offer fraud investigation services. Those who work in retail businesses may be employed in the loss prevention department, investigating transactions and activities related to inventory in an effort to prevent retail theft. Public-sector examiners, investigators, and analysts may work in teams with special agents and police detectives to investigate financial crimes and other types of white-collar crimes. Those employed in federal jobs investigate and examine criminal cases in which federal laws and regulations have been violated.
Fraud analysts employed at banks and financial institutions monitor customers' and banks' activities and transactions to determine if any suspicious activity has occurred. Banks and their customers have established banking patterns that change relatively little over time. Transactions for unusual amounts of money in locations that are not common to the customers are flagged and customers are alerted to these activities. Fraud analysts will investigate the origins of the transactions to search for the perpetrators, and will alert the bank and customers to the criminal activity. Fraud analysts also help banks and financial institutions to identify areas within their systems that are at risk for fraud and recommend ways to improve security.
Fraud examiners, investigators, and analysts spend much of their time on computers, analyzing business and financial data, preparing investigatory reports and documentation, and e-mailing with team members, supervisors, and clients. They are technologically savvy and must be well versed in various software programs to accomplish their work. They use business intelligence and data analysis software such as Guardian Analytics FraudMAP and IBM Cognos; database user software such as Microsoft Access and SQL; enterprise management software such as ArcSight Enterprise Threat and Risk Management; as well as Microsoft Outlook for e-mail and Microsoft Excel for spreadsheets.