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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.

 - insuranceNEWS

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