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Aug 8th, 2019

Intelligence gathering in an increasingly private online environment

Fraudulent insurance claims were reported to have risen in 2018 by 27%; with motor insurance making up 45% of total claims. These claims are believed to have a value in excess of £3 billion. 

Individuals seeking to pursue fraudulent claims are doing so in more sophisticated ways than ever before. As a result firms and analysts must expand their skill sets and, perhaps more importantly, source the most reliable and comprehensive data sources possible from which to gather intelligence. 

However, increasing focus is being paid to online privacy in recent years, causing intelligence gathering to become more difficult and its results less beneficial.

Thankfully Langleys have access to cutting edge resources and data which allows investigations to be thorough, reliable, and in many instances unique to the firm in the data we access. In addition to this an extended knowledge of OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) allows our searches to be ample and consistent. 

Having this ability to investigate claims using the best tools available is crucial and allows the team to (amongst other things): 

  • trace individuals, including potential aliases; 
  • provide insights into their individual circumstances, including their financial history and assets; 
  • hone certain social media searches to particular geographic regions in a given date range – this functionality is enormously useful in claims featuring peculiar details or large losses;
  • profile companies and provide insight into their legitimacy;

Recent social media privacy policy changes have shifted the focus of analysts and investigators in the field to being dependent on limited searches due to free open source tools being shut down. This makes the ability of identifying hidden data and intelligence extremely difficult and hinders efforts to adequately defend fraudulent and dishonest claims. 

As noted, many in the industry rely heavily on free tools to enact their data-mining efforts without an established knowledge of the underlying processes involved or the means to conduct such searches manually. A fascinating means of doing so involves reverse engineering data regarding a subject in order to identify further details. In doing so a fairly holistic overview of the intelligence regarding the claim and parties involved can be offered and from this key components can be used to defend the claim in addition to bolstering the data sets to make identifying trends and key-attractors easier in the future. 

The rise in fraudulent claims in tandem with courts taking a harder line with dishonest conduct makes this a decisive time in being able to competently gather intelligence to assist in the repudiation of such claims.

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