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BIA Launches Online Social Media Portal for Investigating Insurance-Related Claims

social media insurance fraud

BIA is now offering a new online portal for its popular social media investigations services, allowing its clients to investigate more quickly and easily the validity of insurance claims. Publicly available social media posts are routinely used as evidence in criminal and civil litigation, particularly injury, insurance fraud and medical malpractice matters, and BIA’s new online portal is designed to make the discovery and acquisition of that evidence more accessible to all legal professionals.

BIA’s fully secure and encrypted Social Media Investigations Portal allows users to easily and securely begin a new social media account investigation by providing the information needed to kick-off an investigation in an easy-to-use secure online portal, while ensuring all sensitive data is protected and in compliance with industry and governmental regulations.

The unique BIA process collects data from social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr, as well as other websites across the internet. The process is based on BIA’s many years performing digital investigations for companies and law firms.

The entire process is guided and overseen by licensed private investigators, digital forensics professionals and attorneys, ensuring that data is collected and preserved in a way to make it legally defensible and admissible in court. The new portal, which has been in testing with select clients for several months, is now generally available to the public.

“Since launching this new service earlier this year, our team has already handled hundreds of new social media discovery™ cases, which has allowed us to hone our process and put together the right mix of personnel and technology to ensure we can quickly capture relevant information,” said BIA President and CEO Brian Schrader. “Because we’re able to keep our costs low, there isn’t a large expense for insurance companies, though the rewards can be huge if our analysis shows a claim is fraudulent.”

Adam Feinberg, Executive Vice President, Professional Services at BIA, and a long-time computer forensics expert cites one lawsuit that demonstrates the potential of the BIA process. A plaintiff in a worker’s compensation case had claimed to have life-altering pain and suffering from an on-the-job Achilles tendon injury. Using the unique BIA social media investigative approach, investigators and digital forensic experts discovered that she was posting images on social media from exotic vacations to Bali and Australia, where she was doing intense physical activities such as climbing waterfalls. As a result of this evidence, her claim was thrown out.

“If you’re an insurance claims adjuster or attorney, and you’re going to a deposition without a social media investigation performed on the opponent or the plaintiff, you’re only going in with half the story,” Feinberg said. “Our social media investigations service has the potential to save an insurance company millions of dollars in claims.”

BIA experts use a variety of tools and databases available only to private investigators to expand social searches throughout a given individual’s social networks to perform comprehensive social media insurance fraud research. The company’s technology captures social media posts as well as all related metadata, using a hashing algorithm on the components to prove that they haven’t been altered and help ensure evidentiary integrity and admissibility. To provide clients an added layer of confidence, BIA’s advisors can provide expert testimony to verify the authenticity of the data, the process and the analysis in court.

“Because BIA has certified forensic experts, licensed attorneys and licensed private investigators all working together, our social media investigation services provide well-rounded and comprehensive investigations and analysis, which we believe sets us apart,” Feinberg said. “When combined with our automated process and secure technology, our clients can be confident in the quality of the information we uncover.”

Mark MacDonald, CEDS

Mark MacDonald, CEDS

Mark MacDonald, CEDS oversees BIA’s business development, developing partnerships with clients to provide a proactive, defensible, technology-driven approach to managing electronically stored information (ESI). He also serves on the internal eDiscovery planning committees for several of BIA’s clients, advising on best practices and workflows across a wide variety of issues.