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A fraud analyst investigates suspicious activities and works to prevent fraud from occurring. These individuals are experts in security and often work alongside law enforcement to catch criminals who have committed fraud. Being successful in this career usually requires a person with in-depth knowledge in both finance and computer systems. Some common job duties of a fraud analyst include researching current criminal fraud methods and tools, developing prevention techniques, tracking financial data, identifying and investigating possible fraud and creating reports.
Due to continuous changes in technology, it's necessary for a fraud analyst to research current criminal fraud methods and tools. Since fraud detection is often a cat and mouse game, an individual in this career needs to stay on the forefront of new technology to successfully perform his job. As part of this job duty, the analyst may perform research into new ways criminals are using computers to access credit card information or bank accounts, for example.
In many instances, he will also develop fraud prevention techniques. This practice usually involves implementing the information that he acquires on fraud methods and tools, and is used to help companies increase transaction security. He may also assess a company's current security tools to determine security weaknesses and explain preventative measures.
Perhaps the most important part of this job is tracking financial data. This typically involves monitoring monetary transactions like credit or debit cards and cash withdrawals. Basically, it's the job of a fraud analyst to identify irregular patterns of monetary exchange that look suspicious. Due to the somewhat arduous nature of this practice, it requires a person with an analytical mind and an eye for detail.
Along with this, a fraud analyst is responsible for identifying and investigating instances of possible fraud. Whenever a transaction seems questionable or irregular patterns occur, he must look into the matter. For example, if a bank account is showing an unusually high amount of monetary transactions, he may perform research into long term patterns of the account. If his findings point to criminal activity, he will usually contact law enforcement for further investigation.
Additionally, a fraud analyst will typically create reports on each instance of possible fraud. These reports can include information like financial transactions, transaction dates and names on an account. This makes it easier for authorities to recognize patterns and these reports are often used in court. In some cases, a fraud analyst will also need to be present in court hearings to provide testimony.
Fraud analysts often find jobs with insurance companies and banks in the private sector or with government entities like the Securities and Exchange Commission, the FBI and the attorney general's office.
Analysts who work in the private sector are more likely to make more money because government entities often work on a more limited budget.
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