Dude If You Can’t Work Because Of Injury Don’t Post Your Bowling Scores.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance fraud investigators are friending social media in increasing numbers. Intensive surveillance, previously cost prohibitive, is now being provided by the claimants themselves. Facebook posting, tweets, YouTube video, photo sharing sites are all being used to untangle a web of lies.
The technology continues to evolve, making it easier for investigators to positively identify claimants and determine whether their online lives are consistent with the claims they have filed.
Some cases that were made easy for investigators to pursue and have claims nullified include:
- A Los Angeles-area warehouse worker who claimed his back injury prevented him from working posted that he bowled a perfect game on his Facebook page. Good game. Bad idea.
- A judo instructor filed for total and permanent injury, and later posted dates he was available for class instruction.
- A bronco-riding champ filed a claim, and soon after invited online buddies to attend his upcoming competition.
As a result of new technology called “geo-tagging,” which gives the place, time and date of videos and photos, investigators can determine if a compromising photo or video was taken before or after an injury.
Technology vendors are building custom “deep web portals” for insurers who want to stay on the cutting edge. Not all insurers and employers are using these new tools to reduce their losses to fraud — yet. Those that do are finding that the cost of investigations and overall claims cost are reduced. Bogus claims are identified earlier and the payment stream cut off faster. As an employer, ensure that your designated risk manager can quickly learn the ropes about the rapidly evolving nature of social media, and the legal ramifications, to combat workers’ comp fraud.
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