Social media is no longer just a tool to connect. Popular social network sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have now also become a treasure trove for information.

Many people freely share data and information on their profiles or on their specific posts. And though privacy has become a talking point on social media, there are also instances when the use of information on social media has led to good.

In the world of medical claims fraud, social media has become a valuable asset for insurers looking to investigate the validity – or lack thereof – of claims.

Here are a couple of examples of that:

A few years ago, media giant CBS ran a story about fraud caught on social media, including an anecdote about a million-dollar value Bugatti sports car that the owner intentionally runs into a marsh in an attempt to claim insurance worth two million dollars. Unfortunately for him, his luxury car had grabbed the attention of a bystander, and video of his attempt was caught on video and made its way on YouTube. It was then called “the largest single attempted car insurance scam in history”.

The same report spoke about an Ohio man who had claimed to be too injured to work. His Facebook posts, though, clued in investigators to his gym, where he was eventually found capable of bench-pressing 500 pounds.
The Guardian wrote about recent anecdotes in the UK about a man claiming whiplash – an increasing problem in the medical claims industry in the country – but was found to have finished in 7th place out of 2,000 competitors in a 10-kilometer race, thanks to Twitter.

Beyond this, there are many examples of two strangers claiming to be involved in car accidents, later found to linked to each other on Facebook.

It’s no wonder that insurance giants like AllState have partnered with data companies that use social data to help with claims processing. To be clear, social media data isn’t limited to fraud detection. In fact, in legitimate cases, this could also lead to faster validation, leading to lower investigation costs.

But in a time where, as recent as 2013, 24-percent of Americans still believed it was acceptable to pad insurance claims by small amounts (according to a study by the Insurance Research Council), the use of social media has become an important tool in the fight against claims fraud.

Get in touch with TukkoMed for a consultation on how we can help your company handle medical claims fraud with early detection reports or other service.

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