There are different names for the profession, judging from prominent online employment websites. Some of the names employers refer to the position are fraud specialist, fraud investigator, fraud analyst, fraud risk analyst, fraud detection analyst, and more. Are there as many different degrees as there are job titles? We will look at some of the more common degrees that are applicable to a career in this field.

They are prevalent in the financial sector where they investigate forgery and theft within customers’ accounts and transactions on behalf of a bank or a financial institution. If any suspicious transactions are found, the fraud analyst will flag the account and keep it suspended until it can be checked and verified. However, fraud is not confined to financial institutions.

Retail industries also suffer from fraud at point-of-sale (POS). Internet transactions have recently raised big concerns, with some research showing that internet transaction fraud is 12 times higher than in-store fraud. The fraud that involves cell phones, insurance claims, tax return claims, credit card transactions, and many more represent significant problems for governments and businesses. Yet detecting and preventing fraud is not a simple task. Fraud is an adaptive crime, so it needs special methods of intelligent data analysis to detect and prevent it.

Examples of undergraduate degrees in this discipline: 

Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation

This is one of the degrees that studies economic crime. You will learn about fraud, money laundering, and corruption. Courses teach students about counter-efforts including institutional and corporate compliance and due diligence programs, regulatory and enforcement efforts of government agencies. Other studies may involve the recovery of assets wrongfully taken or held by financial criminals.

The range of subjects is conducive to expanding your knowledge base. Coursework accomplishes this by also studying identity theft, wire fraud, insurance fraud, public corruption, health care fraud, embezzlement, environmental, and investment fraud.

Bachelor of Science in Security and Risk Analysis

Some of these programs devote more classes to computer science. This is done through coursework in properties of algorithms, languages, and notations for describing algorithms. Other courses may include an introduction to the concept of databases, including the storage, manipulation, evaluation, and display of data, and related issues.

Courses in the major will engage students in the challenges and problems associated with assuring information confidentiality and integrity (e.g., social, economic, technology-related, and policy issues), as well as the strengths and weaknesses of various methods for assessing and mitigating associated risk.

Bachelor of Science in Risk Management & Insurance

This degree focuses on the insurance industry. The curriculum examines the principles of risk management, property and casualty carriers operations, life and health insurer operations, and insurance products available to mitigate individual and business risks.

You’ll learn how to leverage a variety of hedging strategies, and employ financial and insurance products to cost-effectively minimize risk. You’ll also be equipped to analyze personal and commercial property and casualty issues, health and life policies, and employee benefit models.

Bachelor of Science in Business Forensics

The coursework will prepare you to identify, resolve, and prevent fraudulent corporate activity. You’ll study organizational behavior while learning how to identify questionable business practices, communicate fraud findings, and maintain high standards of business ethics.

Coursework is forensics-focused, featuring fraud examination, such as how and why white-collar crimes are committed; interviewing techniques, including what, when, and how to conduct an investigative interview; legal elements, including applicable laws and court procedures; and corporate governance and internal control assessment, including fraud deterrence practices.

Bachelor of Science in Economic Crime Investigation

This is another degree title in the arena of fraud analysis. The curriculum includes courses in accounting, digital analysis, cybercrime, network forensics, computer systems, and principles of finance, for example.

Law classes may also be included. This provides a comprehensive analysis of the fundamentals of substantive criminal law. Students will learn the essential elements of crimes and the rationale underlying criminal law. The nature of jurisdiction, the criminal act, the criminal state of mind and matters affecting responsibility for criminal conduct are included. Through coursework of this nature, you will be able to apply principles of criminal/civil law to develop investigative techniques.

Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation

This major features an interdisciplinary curriculum that includes courses in:

  • accounting
  • finance
  • economic crime law
  • financial investigations
  • fraud detection
  • payment systems
  • detection technologies

A short list of the learning objectives of a Bachelor’s Degree in Fraud Analysis is:

  • Identify the primary components of economic crime detection, investigation, and prevention.
  • Understand and discuss criminology theories explaining the causation of economic and white-collar crime.
  • Understand and discuss accounting principles as they apply to fraud examinations and investigations.
  • Identify the key economic crime and criminal typologies as they apply to characteristics of specific economic crime acts.

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