WC Social Networking Websites – Very Public – No Privacy
Some Workers Comp claimants were not careful when posting to social networking websites.
I read a very interesting article today on how injured employees are publishing their activities on websites such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and others.
I was astounded that with the transparency of the web if these injured employees actually would think that no one is reading the social websites including their employers or private investigators.
An employer, with a little practice, can perform advanced searches on Google that will bring up these websites and some of the entries that have been posted. The whole investigation process takes about 30 minutes to finish.
The article in Business Insurance went on to point out that the injured employees post their sports activities, rock band performances, and even the launching of their new side businesses all while receiving weekly Workers Compensation temporary total benefits. I was shocked to see that the claimants also commented on how they fooled employers by reporting injuries on Monday morning that actually occurred off the job over the weekend.
The one area that the injured employees do not seem to take into consideration before posting their private lives online is that the records are permanent. Google stores the data caches for years. Using the colossal Wayback Machine website, an employer can look back at certain website for up to 10 years. Anything posted on a website is very public and easily accessible for many years, even if the user removes the information completely.
Workers Compensation private investigators are becoming very adept at searching the web for information on a claimant’s whereabouts. I know of two PI’s who hired recent college graduates in the field of Information sciences just to perform these types of searches.
The PI’s commented the new online investigators have apps that search that the social networking websites in seconds with full reports.
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