Bank Fraud Detection Jobs

While bank fraud has existed as long as there have banks, the form fraudulent acts are taking has changed.

In previous years, frauds were perpetrated by people cashing fake checks, or stealing others’ checks and trying to cash them.

Other crimes were committed, but these were the most common among them, until the last decade. In the last decade, credit card fraud has become one of the most often committed acts of fraud. With the advent of check or debit cards, customers enjoyed the convenience and sense of security that comes with not having to carry around a lot of cash. A large percentage of a bank’s customers now use their debit cards as the primary way to pay for their everyday purchases, such as groceries, prescriptions, retail purchases, and even their lunch time hamburgers. As a result, their debit card account information is viewed by many people on a routine basis.

Early on, some people signed their debit card slips at restaurants and left copies of the receipts sitting on the table after they departed the establishment. It became very easy for a perpetrator to pick up the receipt and have the person’s name and credit card number.

Enter Internet shopping, something most of us do fairly often these days. Unfortunately not all business’s Web sites are secure, and if people are not careful, their credit card and personal information, including birth date, social security numbers, and personal identification numbers are ripe for the picking.
The result of all of this is that many customers are seeing their accounts drained of funds due to credit card purchases they did not make themselves. They are the victims of fraud.

A bank’s fraud protection department works to prevent fraud from occurring and investigates fraudulent charges that do occur. Most credit cards now have pre-set daily spending limits, single purchase limits, or other limits and special security features built in that alert the bank’s fraud department if they occur. For example, if someone attempts to purchase a $1,000 couch with a credit card that does not belong to him or her, the fraud department will be alerted and call the customer, who can verify that he or she is NOT making the purchase. The fraud department can stop the charges before they occur.

Unfortunately, some perpetrators have learned to remove cash from an ATM or make several smaller purchases rather than single large ones. These often fly under the fraud department’s radar, and it can be several hours and several hundred dollars later before the customer realizes what is happening. At this point, the customer reports the charges and the fraud department then investigates them in an effort to recover the funds. Most banks will return the funds to the customer’s account once the fraud department verifies that they were fraudulent purchases. However, the bank will still seek to recover the funds, so it is not losing money from these transactions.

Fraud departments are also required to stay in touch with the latest forms of fraud that are occurring both with credit cards and online purchases, and adjust bank policies and procedures accordingly. Some fraud department employees will be required to help develop the bank’s anti-fraud policies to help prevent future frauds from occurring. Most often when cases of fraud are successful, it is the bank that loses money, not the customer. It is in the bank’s best interest to prevent fraud from occurring.

If you enjoy preventing and solving crimes, this may be a career choice to look into. Although you are not on the street conducting investigations, you are still doing your part and following federal regulations to report suspicious activities to authorities and – it is hoped – catch the “bad guy.” While you may end up spending a great deal of your time on the phone with customers, checking into reports of fraudulent charges, you may also conduct some preliminary investigations in order to confirm the reports, and credit the funds to the customer.

There can be a few divisions under the fraud department’s umbrella. For example, some teams may focus entirely on fraudulent online purchases, while another focuses on credit card fraud. Since these divisions still perform the same duties, just with different types of accounts, JobMonkey’s guide will focus on two common jobs within the fraud department: fraud specialists or analysts, and department managers.

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