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US Government Weighs in On Social Media Snooping to Detect Social Security Fraud

May 28, 2019

There is no question that fraudulent attempts to gain Social Security Benefits is a huge problem, however, there has been an increase of over-reaching investigations by CDIU investigators. The Government weighed in on whether it is appropriate for CDIU investigators to snoop around claimant's social media accounts to draw a conclusion that the claimant may be seeking Social Security benefits fraudulently, or whether such investigation could lead to misleading evidence against the claimant and invade their privacy. Similarly, in the Ninth Circuit in Whalen v. McMullen, 17-35267, (9th Cir., Oct 2018), the Court found that the CDIU investigator improperly misrepresented his purpose to interview the claimant, stating that he was "investigating an identity theft ring", to later use the interview questions against the claimant in her Social Security case. As this Administration continues to crack down hard on Social Security fraud, they must do so legally as to not prejudice claimants whom rightfully seek benefits.

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