Investigators use smart technology to spot insurance fraud

Private investigators can now use smart technology to help spot insurance fraudsters, and do away with expensive stakeouts, according to Meridian Investigative Group.

The firm said it has replaced painstaking undercover methods of catching insurance criminals by deploying hidden cameras and drones. Equipped with software allowing them to activate whenever they detect motion, the hidden cameras follow targets and zoom in without any interaction from operators.

Meridian investigator Paul Colbert said: “These are smart cameras. The technology’s built in. It’s all software-based and it allows us to monitor these folks without having to sit in front of cameras.”

The devices can be hidden inside everyday objects near the homes of those suspected of filing false insurance claims for workers compensation benefits. Meridian said it had used the technology to show a ‘disabled’ worker throwing a ball around despite claiming for a debilitating shoulder injuries.

Another disability claimant was caught moving 90kg railway sleepers without any apparent discomfort, by a camera on a high-flying drone.

Meridian said the surveillance tactics could be considered intrusive but Colbert insisted that CCTV was already pervasive in everyday life, and the technology poses no threat to privacy.

“If you’re out in general public or you’re in a location and you’re not fenced in by any privacy fence we’re not breaching anything, you’re fair game.”