Woman Loses Benefits After Posting Facebook Pics

Private Investigator: Facebook Is Valuable Tool

Asked if health insurance companies in the United States use social networks to investigate claims, a spokesman for the industry association America's Health Insurance Plans emphasized that health insurance systems in the U.S. and Canada differ significantly.

But spokesman Robert Zirkelbach said, "I'm not aware of any company that does that."

Still, Vito Colucci Jr., a private investigator in Stamford, Conn. who has been hired to investigate health insurance claims, said he uses Facebook regularly to gain insight into a policy holder's life.

"This is a tool now for the modern-day investigator," he said. "It's a tool to see what an individual is doing. They're putting it out in the public for everyone to see."

When he's hired by health insurance companies, he said he might use Facebook to determine an individual's schedule or learn about a person's activities.

But though it's a valuable tool, Colucci said it's just one tool out of many that an investigator might use.

"It's one piece of the puzzle," he said.

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