Social Media Investigation / Research

Appleby & Associates works with insurance companies, attorneys and businesses who can benefit from the evidence gathered from social media investigations. Many claimants and litigants are still currently unaware of how visible they are online and they post activity, plans, and connections that can be a treasure trove of publicly accessible information about your target. A Social Media Profile Report preserves a target’s internet activity while providing a historic look into their postings, conversations, and photos. This report is an excellent tool for when social media activity is suspected, and the subject’s activity needs to be known surrounding certain dates or events.

Case Study

A recent social media research investigation of a worker’s compensation claimant revealed photos of the claimant riding horses. The photo metadata showed the pictures were taken and posted only a few weeks after her claim was initiated involving a reported significant back injury. Further, the research developed a lead to a local horse boarding location where the claimant kept her horse. It was not previously known that she owned or rode horses. Three days of surveillance conducted by a competitor company prior to the social media search had been unsuccessful.

A review of the surveillance report indicated contact was lost with the claimant during mobile surveillance on one of these days along a logical route toward the horse boarding business. If they had conducted proper research and planning, the investigator would have likely proceeded to the boarding location and found the claimant there.

Based upon this new information, we were hired for the second phase of surveillance and the claimant was documented tending to her horse and practicing barrel racing! Without this legally gathered, online social media information, this claim may not have been revealed as the fraud it was and the client could have wasted many hundreds of dollars and valuable time entrusting “house sitter” surveillance companies to provide the facts to make the appropriate claims decision.  This is an example of how social media made surveillance a success and revealed the claim as fraudulent. The insurance company could have paid thousands on this high value claim which was a fraud! Get the key information needed for crucial decision making.

The Process

Gathering social media data for your case requires much more than a basic understanding of LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. We use highly developed current software to delve deep and efficiently extract and preserve the data you need concerning the activity of claimants, litigation targets, and business partners. This search is paramount to fact-based critical decisions involving insurance claims, family law matters like divorce/infidelity, child custody/child support, personal injury plaintiffs, and corporate partnership/merger background checks.

We rely on a myriad of reverse search and investigative techniques to locate accounts that are hidden or have private settings, which prevents them from showing up in a public search. In most instances, even with private accounts, we are able to pull pertinent photos, posts, and data. We can search by date, location, time, and keyword, as well as, search videos, statuses, links, geotags, html, and files uploaded to the site on both public and private accounts. If necessary, when monitoring individuals on an ongoing basis, we are also able to anonymously follow without the person receiving a notification.

social media investigation techniques

Appleby & Associates uses only software and techniques that adhere to standards of evidentiary validation, by collecting metadata and MD5 hash values that allows for establishing a chain of custody, which you don’t get with print screen results. Some courts have rejected simple printouts of social media posts, citing inadequate authentication.

Whether you request a social media investigation as a singular request or use it as a supplementary service to enhance results of other field operations, such as surveillance, the information gathered during this research can have immeasurable benefit to resolving your claim/case.

Contact us today for a free consultation and give us an opportunity
to serve your investigative needs.