Insurers scan social media for fraud
22 Nov 2016
Insurers are increasingly turning the tables on fraudsters by scanning social media, according to a white paper from QBE North America.
It says investigators regularly uncover fraud by trawling websites such as Facebook.
In one example, a Californian correctional officer claiming a disability pension was found to be among participants in a road bike race.
In another, an Arizona couple was caught out after making claims for lost wedding rings worth $US40,500 ($55,263). An investigator saw the wife wearing her ring in a Facebook photo.
However, the paper recognises insurers cannot rely solely on “eagle-eyed” detectives rifling through a growing amount of data. They should invest in predictive analytics and Big Data tools such as text-mining software, social customer relationship management tools, predictive modelling, cross-leveraged data sources and social network analysis.
“These game-changing practices and technologies have the potential to reshape the entire insurance business,” the paper says. “Social media offers nearly endless possibilities for fraud investigators – because it’s everywhere.
“All these posts leave a trail, sometimes revealing what deceitful insurance claimants have said and done, where and with whom – and so much of it is voluntarily shared in public, just sitting there on the web.”
Insurance fraud costs the industry an estimated $US80 billion ($10.92 billion) a year, the paper says.