What Do Financial Crime Investigators Do?

What Do Financial Crime Investigators Do: A financial investigator is an actuary who investigates fraud and other types of financial crime, such as embezzlement, Ponzi schemes, money counterfeiting, and insider trading. They are sworn criminal investigators, and their job involves investigating white-collar crime.

The crude responsibility of a financial crime investigator is to focus on illegal activities that lead to monetary gains. A financial crime investigator can work with the government at federal, state, and local agencies, or work in the private sector on fraud analysis, financial rule compliance, loss prevention, or private investigator.

Examples of financial crime – What Do Financial Crime Investigators Do

What is a financial crime? These are crimes committed for the financial gain of an individual or an organization. Crimes like money laundering, embezzlement, and fraud make regular occurrences on the news but there are many flavors of financial crime as there are different bad actors in the finance sector.

As a professional who identifies instances of financial crime and tries to prevent future financial crimes from occurring, here are a few of the crimes a financial crime investigator look into:

  • Tax evasion
  • Money laundering
  • Terrorist financing
  • Fraud
  • Bribery
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Racketeering
  • Securities fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Embezzlement
  • Wire fraud
  • Credit card fraud
  • Insurance fraud
  • Electronic crimes

What do financial crime investigators do?

What Do Financial Crime Investigators Do

Due to the huge variety of financial crimes, a financial crime investigator’s job obligations can vary widely. Monitoring financial activities with advanced technologies is a large part of the job, but these investigators also do other things.

On a day to day basis, a financial crime investigator’s job duties could look like:

  • Conducting quality control assessments and preparing reports
  • Interviewing stakeholders to decide  their goals for an investigation
  • Conducting surveillance
  • Appearing at court as an expert witness, preparing supporting documentation, and preparing for exam and cross-exam
  • Collaborate with law enforcement by sharing their findings to be used as evidence, which can help to build cases against individuals who commit financial crimes.
  • Staying up to date on constantly evolving forensic tools
  • Calming clients who are anxious stressed, and worried about money
  • Managing ever-changing compliance laws and regulations across multiple jurisdictions
  • Perform reviews on clients to ensure their financial activities follow all applicable regulations, look into leads to determine whether a financial crime might be occurring and flag transactions or clients that they identify as posing a risk for financial crime.

Where does Financial Crime Investigators Work

As stated earlier a financial crime investigator can work in the public sector or the private sector. 

Public Sector

Financial crime investigators work as law enforcement agencies at federal, state, and local levels. Several state and local agencies specialize in financial crime and you will see a bunch of financial crime investigators in this sector. At the federal level, special agents focus more broadly on violations of federal laws and regulations.

Some public sector roles that the Financial Crimes investigator dive into are:

  • Municipal and state law enforcement
  • Police detective
  • District attorney investigator
  • Attorney general
  • State Bureau of Investigation analyst
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent
  • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent
  • Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agent
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agent
  • Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigator

Private sector

Within the private sector, financial crimes investigators are employed in loss prevention, corporate fraud analysis, or as private investigators. Corporate fraud investigators can either focus their efforts internally by monitoring employees or externally by investigating bad actors that threaten the organization.

Are you looking for a career as a financial crime investigator?

Here are the qualifications you will need:


To be a successful financial crime investigator you will need at least a bachelor’s degree in fraud management or economic crime. This will make sure you have the background knowledge to identify financial crimes and respond to them accordingly. However, a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business administration or criminal justice can also help one become a financial crime investigator.

A postgraduate degree like a Master of Business Administration can help gain more in-depth knowledge about concepts related to financial crimes.


Certification is typically optional for financial crime investigators. However, having a certificate that shows the skills you have acquired over time will help you when applying for jobs and its shows your dedication to the industry.

There are a few options for certification that can benefit financial crime investigators, many of which are offered by the International Compliance Association (ICA).

Here are some ICA certifications that a financial analyst might pursue:

  • ICA Certificate in Financial Crime Prevention
  • ICA Certificate in Anti Money Laundering
  • ICA Specialist Certificate in Anti-Corruption
  • ICA Specialist Certificate in Financial Crime Risk in Global Banking and Markets
  • ICA Specialist Certificate in Combating the Financing of Terrorism

Hire a financial Crime Investigator

Are you looking for a financial investigator to perform technical work related to the collection, processing and analysis of financial crime-related issues for your company or as an individual, go to Duolabs to hire a certified financial crime investigator. Duolabs is a leading platform where you can find a variety of financial investigators for different financial issues for hire. 

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