February 11, 2016 - 9:00 PM
OKANAGAN - If you claim you can’t work after being injured in a car crash, it’s probably best to not enter that 12-mile obstacle course or take part in a roller derby.
ICBC released the top fraud files of 2015 where the fraudsters were caught in their own web of lies through social media posts. Some bragged about their accomplishments while others were trying to sell their already damaged vehicles.
Listed among the top fraud files of 2015 cracked by social media is a Kelowna woman who tried to claim $1 million for her injuries she claimed happened when she was hit by a motorcycle while walking in a crosswalk with friends. The case went to trial and she made inconsistent statements and reports from medical providers and her own father contradicted her claims. A social media post was also submitted by ICBC investigators to prove she had ‘grossly exaggerated’ her injuries. Her $1-million claim was denied and she was awarded $20,000 for her actual injuries, and ordered to pay for ICBC’s $34,000 in legal costs.
A Kamloops man also made the list after reporting his truck, which he claimed was in good working condition, was set on fire by vandals. Investigators looked into the case and found the man had been trying to sell his truck on Craigslist. His listing included information about the repairs the truck needed, which he couldn’t afford.
Another case included a woman who said she couldn’t work as a hairdresser because of injuries she received in a crash, but her social media posts showed her hiking, running and even participating in roller derby, where she was known as one of the ‘hardest hitters’ on the team.
The final case to make the fraud list for 2015 was man who claimed he couldn’t work his desk job because of injuries he sustained in a crash. Shortly after he submitted his claim he posted pictures and video to Facebook of him taking part in athletic endeavours, including a 12-mile obstacle race and taking part in mixed martial arts.
Last year 7,500 fraud cases were pursued and 5,000 claims investigations were created. Of those, 2,350 cases were advanced by the ICBC's cyber division which primarily searches web sources for proof of fraud. ICBC notes up to 20 per cent of claims contain an element of fraud or exaggeration, which costs B.C. up to $600 million every year, which is equivalent to about $100 more on every annual insurance policy.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016