Most people post on social media without a second thought these days. Checking in at a restaurant on Facebook, sharing a thought on Twitter, sharing a holiday snap on Instagram.
Now in a landmark case, one woman’s social media updates have been used against her, since they proved that she was attempting to defraud her insurance company.
Law firm BLM, on behalf of Allianz, won the case against the claimant, who was found to be making posts on social media that conflicted with facts she presented in her claim.
Jason Potter, BLM’s head of fraud operations, explained that the claimant took some time to make her claim, which was for injuries suffered as a result of a motor accident.
“Her allegations were that she was suffering from extreme pain, neck, back, etc,” he said. “Even to the extent that when she was brushing her hair in the morning it was painful to do so, and that she’s been living with this for a period of time before bringing the claim to ourselves.”
While BLM and Allianz don’t discuss the exact methods they go to when it comes to fraud detection—as this would tip off fraudsters—all claims are checked, and if something seems amiss they are investigated.
“As part of the process we deploy our sophisticated analytics and assessment process, in terms of looking at intelligence we may gather on claimants who may be less than genuine,” Potter explained. “The claimant had made numerous posts using her social media outlet as to what she had been up to during the time she’s alleged been suffering personal injuries.”
Posts on the woman’s social media accounts included photos of her snowboarding and scuba-diving during the time she said she was injured.
“This proved she had been lying about the injuries she had sustained,” Potter said. “Despite this she progressed the case. As a result, we were successful in proving fundamental dishonesty, which is basically fraud.”
Potter said that in this case, the woman caused the bad luck on herself by being dishonest.
“She was the author of her own misfortune in this instance, because she was very vocal about her social life and sharing that with her friends and associates on social media while she was trying to make a fraudulent claim from her insurance company,” he said.
“It’s things like this that we are seeing more and more of to be perfectly honest with you.”