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Facebook foils Canadian lawsuits

The Canadian Press

Small but growing number of lawsuits have faltered because of damning messages and photographs posted on social media sites ...Read the full article

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  1. Adrian D. from Vancouver, Canada writes: So the two lesson's from this article would appear to be:

    1. Don't commit (insurance) fraud. I'm assuming it's the insurance company he was sueing.

    2. Close your facebook account before attempting to commit said fraud.

    Good to know.
  2. Fred Forest from London, Ontario, Canada writes: The headline should read 'Facebook Exposes Case after Case of Insurance Fraud'. Why aren't these would be plaintiff's (or their lawyers) charged with attempting to defraud the insurance system once it's discovered that their outrageous claims are nothing more than an attempt to score big in the litigation lottery. These personal injury 'lawyers' are complicit in the whole scam and, because they are all working on a contingency basis now and have so much invested in these cases, rather than telling the 'injured' person they are not really injured they tell them to expunge all evidence of the truth, which establishes they are not injured in hopes that everyone will get paid. This personal injury 'business' is at the heart of our skyrocketing auto insurance premiums. Nail a few 'injured' people for fraud and discipline some their 'lawyers' and that might stem the tide people claiming 'whiplash' injuries in order to finance their upcoming vacation which will take place right after their case settles which usually happens right before their injury miraculously disappears.
  3. J Canucklehead from Disband the UN, Canada writes: Sounds like Facebook is performing a great service to society in this context...
  4. charles ANTHONY from Canada writes: Why our justice system does not work? 1-Our bureaucrats are not honest. 2.If you do a crime and you are on the inside,you can get off if you know someone.3. Never in the past has cronyism been at the pinnacle of Canadian culture and systemically entrenched as it is today. 4. Our professional class has been at the heart of the financial collapse! Lots of crime and no real protection for the majority who have to read and listen to political and economic bias in our media. And to top it off,lose our asses in our rigged capital markets!
  5. Jeremy K from Burnaby, Canada writes: My buddy looks at people's facebook and myspace profiles before making the final decision to hire them. One fellow last year was about to get offered a sweet job only to see it disappear as fast as the lines of coke he was seen snorting on facebook.
  6. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: Live by the facebook, die by the facebook
  7. Ander Cori from Vancouver-Beijing, Canada writes:
    Looking forward to seeing more ways for idiots to expose themselves
  8. Dave M from Canada writes: I find the tone of this story kind of odd, it's advice about how not to get busted if you're trying to swindle somebody. Sometimes I get the impression the whole thing of illegally downloading music, movies, etc has left many in the younger generation feeling if they can get away with something, it's okay.
  9. My 2 Cents from Canada writes: Moral of the story...a lot of people are stupid and morally bankrupt.
  10. The Longboat from United States writes: Good service on the part of Facebook!
  11. Jesu Pifco from Canada writes: Auroran Bear,

    Also, lose face on Facebook.

    The InYourFacebook generation reaps what it sows. Could be funny if it wasn't so pathetic. Where where they when lives were being handed out?
  12. james cyr from Balmertown, Canada writes: Mr. Terry should not have been awarded one penny. He is clearly a scam-artist....
  13. Hong Yun from Vanc, Canada writes: Fair is fair. I have known people who has decided that is ripping off the system by claiming disability, of course they weren't disabled enough to spend a day working for some other job. If this will prevent dishonest people from taking advantage of the system, I'm all for it.
  14. Diane Schweik from Edmonton, Canada writes: .

    Whiplash should be renamed whipcash.

    This guy should have been prosecuted for attempted fraud or perjury,not given $40k.
  15. A C from Canada writes: To Jesu Pifco and the other elderly technology haters here: Facebook is a social networking tool! It's like a really advanced phone book! It improves your social life in the real world by giving you an almost instantaneous link to all of your friends. It then allows you to relive (for better or for worse) the previous day/night when you get tagged in photos (you can untag yourself or change your privacy settings, etc). It's not meant to be a substitute for real life interaction and the vast majority of people don't use it for that reason.

    Now, go back to your phones with the rotary dial or your carrier pigeons or whatever it is you use for long distance communication.
  16. Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: LMAO! BUSTED!

    This is almost as good as the guy who got busted for faking a sick day from work by posting he was faking sick to skip work on his Facebook page.

    TMI baby...too much information. Isn't always a good thing.
  17. Alfie Bloggins from Hinterland!@!!!, Canada writes: Good for the scumbags who try to defraud us, the taxpayer, those that hold insurance policies - hopefully the idiots keep posting to their social websites so these societal bottom dwellers are exposed. It is an afront that the loser in question still received 40K.
  18. Jonathan Braun from Vancouver, Canada writes: '...can come back to destroy a case...' Hold on, destroy is the wrong word for this Mr. Terry neck injury case. I think the Facebook evidence did not Destroy this case, it made it more pure. This crying-lying S.O.B. was caught by our justice system. He would of made off with millions if it weren't for that damned FaceBook.
  19. Ronald Needmayer from Canada writes: Saskatchewan auto insurance is the best. You receive no money for easily faked injuries like whiplash.

    The guy should go to jail for fraud.
  20. B Ken from Canada writes: I can't believe how many people don't implement the privacy settings on their FB page or in their photos. If you don't set them for Friends Only, the whole world can pretty much creep on your life. And don't accept Friend invitations from people you don't know.
  21. Anthony B from Maritimes, Canada writes: 'Lawyers in Canada are increasingly warning their clients about the perils of posting information on social websites such as Facebook...'

    I guess it's hard for a lawyer to get that fat contingency fee if the client sabotages his own scam on a social web site.

    Gotta love a lawyer who gives advice on how not to get caught.
  22. Mikey Dee from Canada writes: This sort of thing makes it so hard for real genuinely injured people. It playes right into the hands of insurance companies whose only purpose is to try and prove fraud in every case. By the time a case actually gets to court (generaly five years) they have enough video & pics on the injured person to sink a battleship.
  23. D G from Canada writes: My insurance rates don't go up to pay for this settlement. Yay Facebook!
  24. Vic Vegas from Gangville, BC, Canada writes: Many lawyers are warning their contingency fee clients not to use Facebook or risk the truth possibly harming their blatantly fraudulent lawsuits. Thousands of young people, children of lawyers from coast-to-coast, are distraught and swallowing large quantities of tranquillizers after learning their parent may lose eighty percent of the family income. Some litigious clients are suing their lawyers for not telling them about Facebook in the first place. Others are suing the makers of brooms for giving them dust allergies.

    I guess if the local meth dealer's position is already filled, there's always litigation.
  25. Richard Sharp from Gatineau, Canada writes: I'm kinda a privacy freak (aka advocate). and its is clear to me that:

    1. People are outgoing, want to be liked and follow in a pack.

    2. Most people just want to have fun and Facebook et al is fun.

    3. Most people don't anticipate trouble, whether lawsuits, divorces, terminations, bankruptcy, whatever

    4. So they put themselves out there. Look at me!

    I've done it. Only the paranoid don't.

    Maybe we should all be a bit more paranoid.
  26. Hee Hoo Sai from Canada writes: If you don't want the world to know about something, don't put it on the internet. What is cool today could very well be what an prospective employer does not think is. Or judge either. Strategic thinking for dummies, do some.
  27. Richard Sharp from Gatineau, Canada writes: Hee Hoo, I agree. But there are other aspects. Website owners, ISPs, telecommunications and other hi-tech companies could go to bat for us (their customers) as well, especially when it comes to the "war on terror" and the employment/marketing practices of large corporations.

    Like deleting outdated information automatically and insisting on court orders before handing over personal info to the Feds. Like refusing to build in back doors w/o full public hearings.

    And then there are corporate ethics. Where does a prospective employer get off poking around in an applicant's (or encumbent's) private life? Essentially looking for dirt.

    The dumbest bunch are those who say, "Go ahead. I've got nothing to hide."

    These guys give new definition to "head in the sand."
  28. A Happier Place from Canada writes: “The bottom line is if you're scrupulously honest, you can't be tripped up by a photo.”

    Exactly! I'm glad that Facebook is taking down fraudsters. Injury claims should be made by people who are truly injured.
  29. Rusty Brown from Cobourg, Ontario, Canada writes:
    Another example of the unintended consequences of new technologies.

    "To err is human; to really screw up requires a computer"
    . ..(author unknown -- lifted from a little wall-poster in an office long ago)
  30. Ron Pacific from Vancouver, Canada writes: I noticed that most people on facebook will put their religious and political views/affiliations on which I think is a huge mistake by leaving the electronic record for the world to see. While all you law and order types might be happy that somebody's injury case was sunk from facebook, I don't like the implications. If Canada was Germany in the 1930's the government would have used facebook to efficiently find and target those who were on the "banned" list like communists and Jews. Indeed, I would warn anyone against posting on facebook anything that might be construed as anti-government because you might not be let back in the country if they find your facebook profile. Just imagine if a Facsist government was elected in Canada armed with facebook type technology and information . . . . wait a minute, we do have a fascist government that keeps people out Canadian Citizens of the wrong religion or ethnic group!
  31. Tiberius Oderint dum probent from Canada writes: Luuuuuuuuuuuuser.
  32. The Natrix from Toronto, Canada writes: Hahahah.. what a loooser.

    Hee Hoo Sai from Canada writes: If you don't want the world to know about something, don't put it on the internet.
    ***
    And guess what.. you may not have a account, but others will and they will post photos too so unless you crawl under a rock or are really injured, its ain't safe.
  33. Norm Jom from Petawawa, Canada writes: Proves that all Canadians are a bunch of clowns.
  34. Paul Bowler from Canberra, Australia writes: Anyone, other than my good self, remember the good old days before Facebook &c? In those days, insurance companies used to hire private investigators - "gumshoes" - to investigate claimants for injury compenstaion. This process could take weeks - and the PI had to be very covert in his/her operations so as not to alert the subject of their enquiries! But now, thanks to the instant "me-now" syndrome, actively encouraged by Facebook &c, the PI's work is done for him/her! As a previous poster said - looooooooooserrrrrs!!!
  35. Dick Garneau from Canada writes: Sure sounds like a great example of facebook exposing criminal activity.

    Keep up the good work of crime exposure by technology.
    .
  36. I. Con O'Clast from Canada writes: Does facebook do "soft tissue injury" busts, too? Imagine what that would do to our insurance rates!
  37. Patrick P-A from Canada writes: I. Con O'Clast from Canada writes: Does facebook do "soft tissue injury" busts, too? Imagine what that would do to our insurance rates!

    I would love to think our rates would go down but I'm not too sure greedy companies would do so. Why would they lower rates when we're used to paying these rates now. They'll simply pocket the extra money for themselves.
  38. Gary Layng from Canada writes: I have to agree with the consensus opinion here that the idiots caught through Facebook are just crooks trying to scam the system.

    If you've been scrupulously honest in your dealings, then there will be nothing to come back and haunt you during your case, Facebook or no Facebook, and regardless of whether it's on your Facebook account or someone else's. Or on Facebook or any of the other social sites out there.

    Honesty should be considered a mark of integrity by all of us. Unfortunaely, it has always been the case with some morally-challenged out there that if you're being honest you're just considered a mark.
  39. Western Clods from Vancouver, Canada writes:

    So why isn't anyone going after the lawyer here? He's the one advising people on how to commit insurance fraud.

    That's the real story here.
  40. Rain Couver from Canada writes: It is nearly impossible to take it off the internet once it is put out there.
  41. Southside Guy from Edmonton, Canada writes: Jeremy K from Burnaby writes:

    "My buddy looks at people's facebook and myspace profiles before making the final decision to hire them. One fellow last year was about to get offered a sweet job only to see it disappear as fast as the lines of coke he was seen snorting on facebook."
    --------------------

    Can you say "Urban legend"?
  42. D. Marcovitch from Canada writes: The Plaintiff did not actually commit fraud. He was in a real accident and did suffer real injuries for a period of time. He did however exaggerate and appear to lie about the extent and duration of those injuries. He did not fraudulently make anyone pay anything more than he was actually entitled to for the original accident and the original injuries. Attempted insurance fraud? Perhaps. Actual fraud? No.
  43. Bert Fegg from the CIA kow who you r on Facebook, Canada writes: Please note that you cannot "Close" a Facebook account. When you delete a profile you are simply moving the "name" ot of the current mix. Any information and the like are retained on the FB servers.

    Just try closing and then opening up again the next day. the only thing that is changed is your privacy settings are all revertedback to "public".

    You have no more hope of gettind rid of anything on FB, even if you delete it (think "restore point") than Bart Simpson has of ridding himself of his "permanent record" at Springfield Elementary.

    Don't think you can.

    ~Yer welcome, FEGG
  44. kc ramone from toronto, Canada writes: I closed my facebook account. I never had any personal info included. They may still have my email address but that's it.
  45. Justin Stamross from Canada writes: What a sad, lowlife, piece of garbage that guy is. Hopefully one day soon he gets in a serious accident and loses all his friends for real...then maybe he'll have a legitimate claim...
    Loser
  46. Jesu Pifco from Canada writes: AC, my childish critic;

    I'm far from elderly but I've been living in the real world for many years now. I spend the better part of my at-home days on my very cool and useful computer, scanning in 100s of my photos of the real world, while adding to and listening to my digitally stored and reproduced music library on a very nice multi-channel audio-visual sound system. I'm in constant communication with my globally far flung friends via email (letters and photos) and touch tone phone (long distance is dirt cheap, if you don't know by now). I socialise regularly with those that are within a reasonable access distance (say a day's drive in my modern, efficient, technologically controlled car)). I really don't play photo tag, whatever that is, and if I want to "relive the night/day before", I'll trust the storage device in my head.

    Perhaps if you were a better reader and thinker you'd see that I in no way criticised technology, just an aspect of the moronoculture it can engender. I agree that most people don't see their virtual lives as the important one but some are not very smart in dealing with the virtual world. MeBook will always be there with the ability to come back and haunt the vain and foolish.

    To quote Jethro Tull's "Son": "When I was your age, amusement we made for ourselves."
  47. Ziad Fazel from Calgary, Canada writes: Nicely put, Jesu Pifco.
  48. Gigi C from Canada writes: Southside Guy from Edmonton, Canada writes: Jeremy K from Burnaby writes:

    "My buddy looks at people's facebook and myspace profiles before making the final decision to hire them. One fellow last year was about to get offered a sweet job only to see it disappear as fast as the lines of coke he was seen snorting on facebook."
    --------------------

    Can you say "Urban legend"?

    ____________________________

    LOL. Maybe it's my age (27) or just my circle of 487 normal (read: sane) Facebook friends but not one single one of us has photos of us doing anything against the law on our Facebook pages. Sure there are a few of the ubiquitous 'drinking with the girls or boys' pics but nothing untoward, undressed or illegal. My privacy settings on all photos are set wayyy high and I untag myself from any photo a friend posts of me so they aren't searchable. Heck I even hide my friends list from anyone who's not a close friend, just in case. This guy's problem is being stupid and greedy, plain and simple.

    ____________________________

    Ron Pacific from Vancouver, Canada writes: I noticed that most people on facebook will put their religious and political views/affiliations on which I think is a huge mistake by leaving the electronic record for the world to see.

    _____________________________

    Ron, the religion and political statuses of my friends are, for the most part, some of the funniest parts of their profile. I don't think stating your religious views are "I worship Kraft Dinner" will get anyone into any trouble with the law, perspective employers or fascist governments, but I guess you never know.
  49. True Patriot from Canada writes: People who wantonly lie in court probably learned such behaviour from Bill Clinton. They should be prosecuted for perjury and jailed.
  50. joe kolo from Canada writes: This case will fall into, "Dumbest Criminals", just kills me how many idiots out there that do stupid things.
  51. Paul Howe from Canada writes: It seems the message from the lawyer in the article is "I will take your case as long as you don't tell people the truth about your situation on Facebook."
    Lawyers like this should be disbarred.
    I am not a Facebook user but it appears to have some redeeming social value.
  52. Simon Fogel from Toronto, Canada writes: LOL. Moral of the story -- don't put damning evidence on a public forum.

    And yes, you can make your profile "private", but any novice hacker could change that very easily. While most people don't have the skills or care to do so, nosy employers, the police, and other unsavoury types do.

    It's common sense -- when people are likely to ask you strange questions, don't give them the answers before they even ask.

    While I enjoy the apparent openness that my generation lives by, there are always the odd few who take it too far and provide a good laugh for the rest of us.
  53. Simon Fogel from Toronto, Canada writes: Jeremy K from Burnaby writes:

    "My buddy looks at people's facebook and myspace profiles before making the final decision to hire them. One fellow last year was about to get offered a sweet job only to see it disappear as fast as the lines of coke he was seen snorting on facebook."

    While I doubt that that is true (and it would be hilarious if it was), it's a tragic example of the anti-drug hysteria present in our culture. In the majority of cases, one's recreational drug use has little to no impact on job performance or one's overall intelligence. Simply because one does drugs sometimes* does not mean they do them *all the time. Many drugs are neither addictive nor harmful, and most drugs can be used responsibly by intelligent people in a recreational setting. The fact that the prospective employee was doing drugs is less a sign of his competence than the fact that he was stupid (or perhaps brave) enough to do them openly for all the world to see and judge. If I had to choose between hiring a recreational drug user or an internet attention whore, I'd go with the drug user.
  54. A Toonie abroad from France writes: Yes "Simon Fogel from Toronto, Canada writes: LOL. Moral of the story -- don't put damning evidence on a public forum".

    And that includes planted "puff pieces" with your friendly newspaper reporter. It all comes back home to roost/roast?
  55. Master T from Burlington, Canada writes:

    So what about the geek that really has no life, but in a pathetic attempt to show other people he does, makes a fantasy world on a facebook page?

    See? Look at how great my life is!

    Who here has never made an embellishment on their facebook page? Raise you hand (and I'm not talking to those of you who don't use facebook).

    Now add to that lonliness and longing for a better life. What would your facebook page look like?

    It's kind of sad really.
  56. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: Mike Dee, if a person isn't really injured, he won't have pics of him doing all kinds of physical things on his website. Likewise, if a person's social life has suffered - as this man claimed - he won't have pics of himself smoking fatties and drinking beer and having a blast with friends. If you're worried about facebook pics, don't post any.
  57. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: Ron Pacific, we have a fascist government? If you believe that fantasy, no wonder you're worried about facebook. I know for a fact law enforcement personnel use Facebook to establish links between various criminals - and I've been told that directly by more than one LE professional. That's not fascism, that's simply using public information that is freely available. Police are often quite astounded at the information they can glean publicly, posted by the criminals they are gathering intelligence on. And obviously the courts feel it is fair game, as the judge in this story did. It especially comes in useful when Gang Thug A denies association with Gang Thug B. Do you know Gang Thug B? No, I've never heard of that person in my life. Well here's a picture of you and him clinking beer bottles at a BBQ last Septemeber. Does that refresh your memory? Obviously, knowing someone isn't a crime. But this is useful to catch a crook in a lie, rattle his cage, and destroy his confidence in an interogation. Usually it's younger gang members who are most susceptible to this. You catch them in a lie, and suddenly they don't know what you know. Older crooks know better than to advertise their associations.
  58. Harry Stugots from Canada writes: A C (Absent Conscious) from Canada writes: To Jesu Pifco and the other elderly technology haters here: Facebook is a social networking tool! It's like a really advanced phone book! It improves your social life in the real world by giving you an almost instantaneous link to all of your friends.

    With that comment - Thank's for the reminder that yes we are not created equal.
  59. Bill Needle from Canada writes: If you're going to document your life on line then realize that you are documenting your life to the world (privacy settings be damned). If you don't want to see it on the front page of a paper or in a court document (there's that word again) then refrain from documenting it.
  60. Bill Needle from Canada writes: @ Southside Guy
    urban legend or not, we look up every candidate before hiring to see what comes up on-line. 90% of the time it's fine, but the odd time you do find something damning and that changes the decision.
  61. Southside Guy from Edmonton, Canada writes: @ Bill Needle...
    That is understandable, employers want to know as much about potential workers before investing in them.

    As for the tale of the prospective employee with a picture of himself snorting cocaine on Facebook........

    It's hard to believe someone is that really, really stupid to upload a picture of doing an illegal activity that is also detestable in most societies.

    A coke-addict goes to great lengths to hide their habit. He knows the purpose of Facebook (is there one?) thus will ensure his parents, relatives, potential girlfriends, co-workers, bosses (future or otherwise) would not know he's a coke fiend.

    So he is either that once-in-a-million "how can that guy be sooo stupid" person you read in the news or the picture was a joke.

    Or it was an urban legend because after all the source involves a friend or a frind of a friend.
  62. Agent Double O. from vancouver, Canada writes: If you are DUMB enough to post pics of yourself on facebook, where you are clearly not in the condition you claim to be in, you DESERVE to be caught. If you want, you can set the privacy settings to such a level where nobody can eeven search for you let alone see your pics or your freinds.
  63. Jonathan Provost from Ottawa, Canada writes: I agree with Fred Forest!

    There should be follow ups on lawyers AND individuals who attempt to scam others and fail.
    Lawyers should be fined and should lose their license if proven that they knew all along of the fraud.
    Individuals should at the very least lose all benefits and perhaps even pay back all costs associated with the entire process (yes! that's tens of thousands of $$$).

    I hate finding out that my tax dollars pay for these frauds!
  64. ken kolthammer from Canada writes: Fred Forest from London: I sincerely hope you get hit so hard by some negligent driver they have to fish your head out of your a$$. You sound like you work for an insurer, or are stupid enough to swallow their propaganda without a thought. Premiums would be lower if insurers were not so greedy, or if they stopped giving idiots like you a drivers license.
  65. Steven Ferguson from Canada writes: What is unbelievable about the Newfoundland case in the article is that the guy still got $40K even after it was clearly established that he was a liar. He should have been charged with fraud.

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