Social Media Vs. Internet Mining Investigation

The apps on our phones provide a goldmine of information for unveiling fraudulent claims. Best part is that the information you find on the internet is usually voluntarily shared, and personal. Find out what this means for you.

By Carla Rodriguez | Sep. 25, 2023 | 5 min. read

Two powerful tools that have emerged to aid in verifying claims are social media investigation and internet mining investigation. It’s a great and bad thing that people are willingly putting information on the internet for anyone to see.

A social media user has complete control over their privacy settings and what their audience is allowed to see. An Internet Mining Investigation allows you to dig deeper to find evidence that your subject does not control or is unaware even exists. It is often these smaller chunks of evidence that can make or break a case.

In this article, we will delve into the distinctions between these two investigative approaches and how they contribute to the insurance industry.

If it can be posted online, it can be found online.

Social Media Investigation

1. What is Social Media Investigation?
Social media investigation, as the name suggests, primarily focuses on compiling evidence from a claimant’s social media presence. This includes platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tik Tok, YouTube and LinkedIn. The objective is to gather information that may either support or challenge the legitimacy of a claim.

2. Personal Information
Social media investigation dives deep into a claimant’s personal life, capturing posts, photos, and interactions. Investigators look for evidence that contradicts the details of the claim. The intelligence gathered here provides you with an in-depth view into a subject’s lifestyle,
hobbies, activities, and whereabouts. For instance, a person claiming a debilitating injury but posting pictures of their recent ski trip to Colorado would raise some red flags.

3. Real-time, Real People
One of the key advantages of social media investigation is its ability to provide real-time information. Investigators can monitor a claimant’s activity throughout the claims process, ensuring that any sudden changes in behavior or activities are noted.
Beware of the artificial intelligence being used by your surveillance company. Facebook recently announced they are shutting down companies that use software algorithms to perform search inquiries on their customers. These types of restrictions emphasis the need for a real-life internet mining team that can meticulously examine all online mediums.


Internet Mining Investigation

1. Comprehensive Web Presence
Internet mining investigation casts a broader net, encompassing the entire expanse of the internet beyond just social media platforms. It provides all the benefits of the SMI and extends that search to include extensive coverage of other online resources such as: news articles, blogs, forums, and any other online sources that might contain pertinent information about the claim.

Internet mining, with its broader scope, allows you to cross-reference information from various sources, helping to strip away those layers of anonymity. Finding the same email address, phone number, or username in different places can be the key to unmasking a fraudster.

2. Digging deeper
For example, these in-depth searches can discover if your subject is listed as a participant in a 5k race or if they have recent golfing or blowing stats (while claiming they’re still too injured to return to work.) You can even uncover daily activity blogs from fitness forums, verify Venmo or Cash App and find them on chatrooms such as Reddit.

3. Data Analysis Tools
Internet mining relies on advanced data analysis tools and algorithms to sift through vast amounts of online data. This aids investigators in their research, ensuring no stone is left unturned. These tools can identify patterns, relationships, and anomalies that may not be evident through manual searches. You can also document a subject’s activities over a given period of time through internet mining monitoring. This allows you to keep an eye on your landmark findings.


Key Differences and Complementary Roles

While both social media and internet mining investigations serve critical roles in claims insurance, they are not mutually exclusive. Instead, they complement each other:

Scope: Social media investigation focuses on real-time, personal information, while internet mining casts a wider net, and find evidence that your subject does not control or is unaware even exists.

Depth: Internet mining has the advantage of deeper data analysis, making it more suitable for uncovering hidden information, assets, or patterns. The expanded service internet mining provides will help you discover if there are online publications or newspaper articles that mention your subject, or if your subject enjoys blogging about their hobbies, vacations or anything relevant to their claim.

Social media is a snapshot in time, easily manipulated by deleting or altering posts. Internet mining often uncovers archived content, timestamps, and historical data that can be crucial in establishing a timeline for events.

Comprehensiveness: Social media investigation is ideal for monitoring a claimant’s ongoing activities, while internet mining can unearth historical data and monitor a subject presence on the internet over a period of time. You can go far beyond selfies and status updates, tapping into a wealth of information buried deep within the web.

This helps identify dates and times for optimal surveillance results that can make or break your case – at the very least save you a couple hundred dollars.



In the realm of claims insurance, leveraging the strengths of both social media investigation and internet mining investigation is the key to effective claim verification. While social media provides real-time insights into a claimant’s activities and lifestyle, internet mining dives deeper into the web’s vast expanse to uncover hidden truths. Understanding these differences and using them in tandem enables insurers to make more informed decisions, protect honest policyholders, and combat fraudulent claims effectively.

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