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Workers filing fraudulent claims often make social media mistakes

While many workplace injuries are valid, some workers may exaggerate or even concoct fake injuries to cheat the workers’ compensation system. Workers may be aided in creating falsified claims with the help of coworkers, doctors or even lawyers. Fraudulent workers’ compensation claims are especially common in California, where there is a no-fault system in place. Workers can make claims for medical expenses and even back-pay without proving evidence of an injury.

In the end, small businesses suffer. During the fiscal year of 2015 to 2016, there were 5,380 suspected cases of workers’ compensation fraud with potential loss amounted to $193,354,616 in California alone. With false claims so prevalent, employers have been turning to social media for help.

Employers are using social media to spot fraud

Employers and insurers are beginning to keep social media outlets on their radar for identifying workers’ compensation fraud. Employers can spot evidence of fraud on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube or other social media websites. At small businesses, workers and supervisors may even be “followers” or “friends” on social media. With a quick scroll through their social media feed an employer might notice suspicious activity.

However, employers do not necessarily need to be “friends” with employees to search for fraudulent activity. Many social media users post pictures and updates publicly. Employers can search websites using names and phone numbers. This means of investigation is justifiable when a worker is exploiting the company for a fraudulent claim.

Businesses can seek legal recourse

Small business owners can look out for supposedly injured employees who simultaneously post pictures of themselves exercising, travelling or performing activities that are not possible if they were actually injured. Lawyers often warn their injured clients to stay off social media, but most people cannot stay away for long. Workers who file fraudulent claims may get caught posting gym “selfies,” pictures of themselves running a recent 5k or taking the kids to Disneyland.

With enough evidence against their claim, an employer can seek legal recourse. Photos and posts such as these are hard to refute in court. Any small business owner who suspects fraudulent workers’ compensation claims should talk to an attorney immediately.

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