Insurers are scouring social media for evidence of fraud
If someone receiving disability benefits for a bad back brags on Facebook or Twitter about finishing a marathon, chances are their insurance company will find out and stop the checks.
By Shan Li, Los Angeles Times, January 25, 2011:
Now there's another reason to be careful about what you post on Facebook: Your insurance company may be watching.
Nathalie Blanchard found out the hard way.
Struggling with depression, the 30-year-old from Quebec, Canada, took a medical leave in early 2008 from her job as an IBM technician. Soon after, she began receiving monthly disability benefits from her insurer, Manulife Financial Corp.
A year later and without warning, the payments stopped.
A representative of the Toronto insurance company told Blanchard that Manulife used photos of her on Facebook — showing her frolicking at a beach and hanging out at a pub — to determine she was depression-free and able to work, said Tom Lavin, Blanchard's attorney.
"They just assumed from the pictures that she was a fraud," Lavin said, "without investigating further before terminating Nathalie's benefits."
Blanchard sued Manulife, accusing Manulife of failing to talk to her doctor and neglecting to inform her before cutting off payments. The case is scheduled for trial ... Read more>>