Apr 30 2024

Uncovering Private Social Media Accounts for Insurance Claims

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Settling an insurance claim can be a very complicated process, and it’s therefore hugely important that insurance companies know exactly where they stand with the claimant and their circumstances.

There are many occasions where an investigation into a subject leads to several social media accounts being located, but then some or even all of them are private, making it difficult to gain any insights into their life and circumstances. This can lead to what we call dead-end investigations. Perhaps an Instagram account has over 500 private posts, or perhaps the subject is not very active on social media, but their partner has a very active private Instagram account. A whole plethora of information about their life is sitting behind locked doors. But there is a solution that can help…Our Privacy Checker service.

Privacy Checker alerts us when a profile has become publicly available, allowing us to gather even greater evidence about what the subject has been up to, swiftly, before the shutters come down and any further privacy settings are altered. This extra evidence about an individual’s lifestyle can really strengthen evidence found on other accounts, and fortify an investigation.

Let’s look at some examples of where Privacy Checker helped us to get a jump on an investigation, and allowed us to gather valuable information:

Example 1

In this example, the claimant had uploaded regularly to Facebook and in one such post, they had posted to say that they were ‘in bed’ following the incident and were unable to attend a social event. However their Facebook account also showed evidence of them being able to drive and returning to work a few months later, and they then continued to enjoy an active social life. An Instagram account was also located for the claimant, but it had unfortunately utilised privacy settings.

Following this information, the client the instructed NetWatch to add the claimant to our Privacy Checker service; the client was notified just a few days later that the claimant’s Instagram account had become public. The client then instructed NetWatch to perform Temporary Intelligence Capture; a tool in which Instagram stories can be downloaded and saved without leaving a footprint. Please see more details in our blog post[1].

The Temporary Intelligence Capture tool captured a number of photographs from the claimant’s Instagram account which showed them out socialising, driving, and dancing. This added further evidence to refute the claims made by the claimant.


Example 2

The next example shows how our Privacy Checker service could have retrieved evidence from an X account quicker, as soon as it became publicly available, to avoid wasting time in the claims process.

The claimant had stated that they lost peripheral vision in their left eye after being involved in a collision. The initial investigation revealed that prior to this the claimant enjoyed attending ballet, live music events, and was also an English Literature student at University; much of this evidenced from their public Instagram account. However, their X account remained private.

We were instructed to carry out update investigation over two consecutive years, and during the second update, their X account had become publicly available. Please see our blog post regarding update reports[2] for information about this.

The claimant’s X account contained a whole host of information about their life since the index incident, including a post which stated that they had been admitted to hospital, and had to continue to attend hospital appointments, potentially due to the injuries they had suffered. Their ability to attend many social events was also alleged to have been impacted.


Without the good luck of running an updates investigation this additional information may have been missed, and had our Privacy Checker Services been utilised, evidence from the X account would have been obtained sooner speeding up the time to resolve the case.

Example 3

In our final example, the subject was noted to own a hair and beauty company for which we located a public Facebook account. It was also observed during the investigation that they also had a private Instagram account, and they had clearly been very active, so the client requested that our Privacy Checker service be utilised.

The account in question became public just a few days after the initial investigation was carried out, which opened a whole new doorway into the life of our subject for our analyst, supporting their previous evidence that she had been working at their Hair & Beauty company just a few months following the index incident, throwing into question the legitimacy of their claim. This was then compiled into an Evidence Pack, a court compliant document to be used in legal proceedings, and sent to our client.

Contact us for more information

It’s not unusual for individuals to alter their privacy settings on social media, especially when they have several business or other notable accounts. However, without Privacy Checker, the only way to know is to manually check each account – which is far from efficient when you could be waiting weeks, months or even years for these accounts to become public! This service can be used to fill in the missing puzzle pieces for contentious claims, or to uncover evidence in long term cases particularly before an evidence pack is constructed. Don’t miss out on valuable evidence, talk to NetWatch Global today!

[1] https://www.netwatchglobal.com/solutions/temporary-intelligence-capture/

[2] https://www.netwatchglobal.com/blogs/why-you-should-get-an-updated-report/

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