Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram are the most-used social media platforms by adults in the United States. Facebook and YouTube stand out as the overall leaders, and results of a recent survey indicate most individuals are active on more than one of the platforms.
If you are among those who use social media, you should know that virtually nothing is private anymore. Indeed, social media is such an open book that those in the workers' compensation industry make it a practice to scour the platforms to uncover fraud and deny claims.
The power of social media is so great that insurance investigators and state regulators confirm that surveillance and social media review are the two most common methods they use to investigate claims. They note that leveraging social media is less expensive than other surveillance options, and can be used to uncover information that can be used to deny claims.
The information that investigators can glean from a Facebook profile or post include:
- Verification of disability
- Information regarding facts of injuries
- Confirmation of job status
- Identification and location of potential witnesses
As a result, the prevailing wisdom among those dedicated to ensuring rights for injured workers is that individuals in the process of any workers’ compensation case should be aware that their social media posts could be surveilled by insurance companies, and that the information in their posts and profiles could be used against them.
Although it may seem unfair that employers’ and insurers’ can use your social media as a surveillance tool, the reality is that it happens and it's legal.