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Private Investigators Now Checking Social Media Sites For Insurance Fraud

By Diana Perez, WBZ-TV
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Kurt Nordland had his medical benefits canceled after photos of him at the beach were posted on Facebook.

Kurt Nordland had his medical benefits canceled after photos of him at the beach were posted on Facebook.

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BOSTON (CBS) – Before you post that vacation or weekend photo on Facebook, you may want to think twice about who could be looking at your page. Insurance companies could be surfing the web, looking for evidence to use against you.

That’s what happened to Kurt Nordland. Investigators from the insurance company paying Nordland’s worker’s comp benefits saw pictures he posted of himself and friends at the beach.

Soon after the posts, Nordland’s payments were canceled, his medical benefits were cut off, and he had to delay surgery needed to repair torn cartilage in his shoulder.

WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports

What happened to Nordland is a new trend in the insurance world: Social Media Snooping. Depending on your privacy setting insurance investigators can see every Tweet or Facebook post. If insurance investigators think you’re dabbling in risky behavior you could pay higher premiums. If they think you’re faking an injury you could face coverage cancellation.

Insurance fraud makes everyone’s premiums more expensive. “Insurance fraud costs the insurance industry and consumer about $30 million each year, ” according to Jeanne Salvatore of the Insurance Information Institute.

Eliminating fraud is private investigator Steve Davis’ specialty. When he is hired by insurance companies to root out suspicious claims he says the first place he looks is online. “If you’re going to claim that you have a severe injury and you post pictures of you doing something crazy then shame on you. You shouldn’t have those pictures on there and shame on you for committing insurance fraud,” says Davis.

Fortunately, Nordland had the medical records to prove his injury and won his appeal to the insurance company. But, he warns others to be real careful about what they are posting online.

For help changing your privacy setting on Facebook check out this link: CLICK HERE

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