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  • Dean Smith

Social Media Investigations to Complement Surveillance: The Added Value

Brad Balentine, SIU Director at David Morse & Associates, speaks in a Claims Journal video about maximizing surveillance efforts by incorporating social media and other research into the investigative process.

“Using surveillance in claims handling, one thing that discourages some carriers from doing that or some attorneys from doing that, is that it can be expensive because you’re paying to have an investigator waiting,” says Balentine. Although much of surveillance is waiting for activity on behalf of a claimant, in-depth research that includes investigating social media is part of how WE prepare to maximize efforts and add value to the expense.

For example, we are able to make a positive ID of the subject/claimant by compiling photographs, document activities that they’re involved in, uncover posts about their whereabouts/check ins/plans for the day/evening, find possible employment information, locate a current address, and so much more (other than the obvious). These are the reasons that we utilize databases, social media accounts, and internet presence to complement field work.

This video happens to explain ICU’s surveillance approach effortlessly, as we ask every single one of our field investigators if they enjoy fishing. Strange, right? Wrong. Here’s why:

Balentine explains, “I kind of liken it to fishing. There’s the kind of fisherman who might just go out to the lake, bring out his boat, drop a line, and wait. It’s because he might like waiting. He might like being away from home, he might enjoy drinking a beer in the sun and so forth but he’s not catching much fish. Then there’s the avid fisherman, and what he will do is he will go to the bait store. He’ll ask, ‘What time are they biting? Where are they biting? What they’re biting on?’ He might look in the newspaper for fishing and so forth, and he’ll do all of his homework so when he goes out on the lake, he is waiting but he is waiting with the best possible advantage he can have to catch something. And so it is with surveillance, you’re waiting but what you want to do is proactively do your research as much as possible to make sure that your chances of getting something from the expenses are the best that they can be, and that’s where social media investigation helps.”

We do our homework, vigorously. We breed avid fishermen. It’s what we do. Because why wouldn’t we want to use all of the tools available to us to help combat workers’ compensation fraud that costs us $7.2 billion per year?

View the full video below here:

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