Social Media and Deception
in Fraud Investigations
Social media websites are often a great source of information for fraud investigators. These sites are places where people
post every little detail of their day-to-day lives. This information is handy for
investigators, especially when claimants
post updates about their frequent activity
while they are supposedly disabled and
collecting workers’ compensation.
The most recent issue of the Journal of
Insurance Fraud in America (JIFA), published this summer, details how legal professionals, investigators, and other insurance company representatives sometimes
deceive suspects into giving up information from these sites. Jim Quiggle, director of communications at the Coalition
Against Insurance Fraud (CAIF), explained that social media is the up-and-coming source of potential evidence in
any kind of fraud investigation.
“Everybody is mining social media for
clues in fraud investigations,” Quiggle
said. “People love to brag about their
exploits on those sites. A person can tell
all their friends how he or she scammed
an insurer—people cannot resist the im-
Right now, states have varying laws as
to how lawyers, agents, investigators, and
other insurance company representatives
can engage in deception in investigations.
Jaclyn Millner, an attorney with Liberty
Mutual and one of the two legal experts
who authored the piece in the JIFA, ex-
plained that states are looking to other
states as these rules are modified.
Social Media p. 10 A
in that you have a chance to impact policyholders’ lives. It is an
exciting world to be part of, and those outside the industry would
have no way of knowing that. Whether on the front lines adjusting in the field or back at the office, everyone is pitching in and
How are impediments to learning addressed?
The time and funds required for education are considerations that
should be carefully weighed. I think that insurance companies are
progressive in this regard. For example, at Crawford the training
is very much incentivized—not only for elevation at the company level but also for personal growth and specific skill sets. The
company has established clearly defined career paths for property adjusters, and what is necessary in terms of the coursework ,
knowledge and certification(s) required for advancement. Adjusters realize that advancement opportunities await once these requirements have been satisfied.
As a “Millennial,” what do you think insurers are doing to
engage your demographic?
Well, I can only speak for myself, but I think that our generation wants
to see a swift return on investment. Insurers are able to offer concrete
expectations, and once certain steps are completed, you can prog-
ress to the next level. There has been a transition from the classroom
model of learning to the Web and soon to mobile devices, where we
can take courses on an iPhone, iPad, or smartphone. Knowing we
don’t have to necessarily incorporate this in the regular work means
you will be able to brush up on certain concepts or even work toward
completing a course while sitting at the doctor’s office. So it doesn’t
feel as overwhelming when training isn’t consuming a large chunk of
What is Crawford doing right to train Millennial adjusters?
Crawford is forming university subcommittees to connect with
younger workers on a deeper level. The recent formation of the
Young Professional Insurance Executives (YPIE) group is one notable stride. Part of the mission of YPIE is to tell the P&C story, but also
to develop a forum where new entrants to claims have a voice to
effectuate changes. We have formed groups of communities online
as well. I like that training doesn’t feel like being force-fed content.
In a way, the preferences of today’s worker of all ages are challenging the insurers as a whole to become more involved and grow skills
that baby boomers have spent years carefully procuring. Interactive
environments in lieu of prolonged classroom training and hands-on
learning seem to be key. Compared to just 5 years ago, training looks
a lot different. Today, you can just pull up a browser and join the
virtual classroom of sorts and have a conversation with others in
the industry. This is the future of training.