Disability "Special Investigator" showed up unannounced!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by ljf, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. ljf

    ljf New Member

    Hi. I'm on long term disability with an insurance company. Today I got a knock on my door from a private investigator hired by the insurance company(I live in a highrise building with a doorman, but the investigator refused to have himself announced and just came up). I am a single woman and live alone and found this extremely scarey, especially when he flashed his badge at me. I had no idea that this type of visit was on the insurance company's agenda (though I know they often do camera surveillance). He asked at least 20 questions including: what do I do during the day, why can't I work, what prescriptions do I take (and he wanted to see the bottles), what is my mortgage payment and monthly expenses, why did my last relationship end, etc. Very personal.AND HE TOOK MY PICTURE AGAINST MY WILL! Is this customary? Can I take action? What else can I expect? I feel that this was an invasion of privacy and feel very frazzled, expecially about the picture. Will they use it for camera surveillance now?
  2. lolee

    lolee New Member

    Unfortunately, it's probably all outlined in the microscopic fine print . . . . . .

    But don't worry too much . . . . . what you are going through with your illness is real. It's the jerks that fake this stuff that they're after.

    Can't wait to hear what happens. I pray that this will just be a one time thing and will blow over.

    Luv,

    Lolee
  3. lolee

    lolee New Member

    I'd have a nice little chat with the manager if I was you . . . . . NO ONE (except the police) should be allowed past a doorman without being announced. NO ONE!!

    Badge??? Probably gave the doorman a stroke! Most likely played it off like he was a cop or something! What if that had been a rapist!

    GEEZ, some people! They really have some big "stones"!

    Lolee
  4. Bambi

    Bambi New Member

    days but I do NOT think this would be a legal thing for this man to do! You should not have invited him into your apartment first off, and should have requested any identification and then called the insurance company to see if they even know who he is. There are so many scams out now that you just don't know who you are dealing with.

    There have been several breakins to various companies and records stolen so him knowing your name and address etc and about your disability is not that hard to know necessarily.

    I would STILL check back with the insurance company to be SURE they sent him and then I would read the fine print of all my papers (maybe do that before calling just to be fore armed). In any case I would not answer such intrusive and personal information without the advice of an attorney and it would be well worth your $25 or so to get an initial appt with an attorney to advise you about future visits like this.

    Your previous relationship(s) is NONE of their business for sure! I would not hand over any medications to someone either without being absolutely certain I HAD to and just cannot believe a private detective would have ANY right to even ask you to.

    The door man should be complained about in WRITING and immediately. What is the point of a doorman if not to keep you from being bothered by people you don't know or don't know are coming..and without your permission to let them come up!?

    Anyone can purchase a real looking badge and even papers. Again the company should have been called to verify this man was who he said he was and you need to know ahead of time if you have to talk to such a person and under what circumstances. I would think at the very LEAST an appointment would be required.

    I hope you will find out your legal rights in this situation as soon as possible and if he WAS in violation of your rights, as it surely sounds like he SHOULD have been, a written complaint with copies to the Attorney General and the Board of Insurance as well as the disability company should be sent at the very least.
  5. Megumi

    Megumi New Member

    I would definitely talk to the doorman and question him as to why he let someone in announced (I'm dieing to know myself!). And then I'd go report it to the manager.

    Thanks for your post. It lets the rest of us know what to watch out for and prepare for.

    Good luck to you,
    Megumi
  6. Pianowoman

    Pianowoman New Member

    I would seriously question some of this man's tactics. He figured you were a woman alone and he could intimidate you.
    Some of what he did was clear invasion of privacy and not acceptable.
    If you can get some legal advice, I would do so. This may happen again. I also agree with others about having a chat with your doorman and/or manager.

    Good Luck
    Kathy.
  7. jake123

    jake123 New Member

    Never open the door to someone you don't know. It definitely was an invasion of your privacy and it was sleazy of them to do that. But what done is done.
    I think I would have casually called 911 and said there was an intruder in your house and you were terrified and you needed help immediately.
    Just because someone knocks on your door (especially if they haven't been announced, you are not required to open it. I look through the peep hole, check them out and go back to what I was doing.
    I was a victim of a violent crime so that is why I feel the way I do.
  8. Sbilek

    Sbilek New Member

    LJF, you've gotten some good advice here, but number one, in this day and age, I'd never open the door to anyone you don't know under any circumstances. I live out in the country, and I still don't open the door. You just simply cannot take the chance.

    Once that door is open, if the person on the other end is a rapist, a murderer, or whatever, you are at their mercy.

    If you don't open the door, the "supposed" investigator would have to assume you were not home and would have to call to make an appt. I think some of the questions that person was asking were totally inappropriate and raise a major red flag in my book.

    Sbilek
  9. silky17

    silky17 New Member

    Man that sounds a bit spooky and a scheme to get info off of you. I am not so sure I would have done anything different as you did. Some of us are to trusting and If it was from the insurance company then I hopoe they found Nothing that they could construe against you.

    I on the other hand know that insurance co's use investigators. I had some schooling on investigating. I also wouldn't doubt that there could be someone on here. We just never know, Good luck to you.

    By the way what insur co was it? If you don't mind.

    God Bless,
    Deb
  10. darude

    darude New Member

    Would have told him to "FOG OFF". The nerve of these people.
  11. 69mach1

    69mach1 New Member

    you should have never answered any questions at alll...and told him it was not a good time and if he wanted any answers to please contact my attorney.....

    of course without saying i wouldn't have answered the door, then called the doorman, then called the insurance company, attorney first if you had one...that wasn't anything they couldn't have put in the mail for you to fill out...i have never heard about showing up unanounced like that then expect you to answer questions...

    i am not going to lecture you, but be careful next time you are living in a secured perimeter for a reason, security...

    i know ou were probably thrown off quite a bit...and it is easy for us to tell you what we think, i mean think what we would do if it were us....

    so don't beat your self up and just make those phone calls....

    jodie
  12. sdown

    sdown New Member

    Hi, Yes Ive been thru it too. I hired a lawyer. The spies followed me everywhere. They were parked outside my house. Once when I went to a coffee shop with my son 2 people sat beside me. One man said on his cell phone "Yes, she is here, sitting right next to us and said my name". This was intimidating and upseting especially with my 9 year old son. I had to explain the harrassment to my son. I phoned my lawyer and he said if it happens again to call him. The lawyer would have contacted the insurance company to give them a lecture about not intimidating his client. They followed me many times after that but at least they didnt say my name out loud. Once I went for a walk and the spy was right behind me. I thought she was going to bite my neck she was that close. One neighbour went outside and told them to park somewhere else that she didnt like them parked infront of her house. Another neighbour was paid by the insurance so they could setup a camera inside there house to spy on me. They sent a physiotherapist to spy on me. In hindsight I should have never let her come in my house. You have the right to deny them access to entering your place. You can arrange to meet at their office. The physiotherapist asked me who looks after the plants in your house, who feeds your kid, etc... Doesn't sound very appropriate or professional for a physiotherapist to be asking these questions. They spied on me thru my backyard fence thru the holes. I understand how you feel I was very frazzled by the whole experience. Don't kid yourself they probably check this website everyday. Not to make anyone paranoid but be careful what you say. Especially if a case is going to court. Remember they are scum and will do anything to get info. It might not all be legal what they do either but they seem to get away with it.
    [This Message was Edited on 01/12/2006]
  13. TXFMmom

    TXFMmom New Member

    These guys can be intrusive.

    To Echo, I would have a SERIOUS TALK WITH THE DOORMAN AND THE BUILDING PEOPLE. NO MORE UNANNOUNCED.

    Then, NEVER, EVER WOULD I SHOW MY MEDS AND PRESCRIPTIONS TO ANYONE EXCEPT MY DOCTOR, PERIOD. That IS NOT SOMETHING THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SEE OR KNOW.

    THIS GUY COULD TAKE YOUR PRESCRIPTION NUMBERS AND HAVE THEM FILLED.

    Then, SOME OF THE QUESTIONS ARE NONE OF AN INSURANCE COMPANIES' BUSINESS. WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS NOT SOMETHING THEY NEED OR DESERVE TO KNOW.

    As for the PICTURE THING. THAT IS ILLEGAL. NOT IN YOUR HOME. OUTSIDE THE HOME IS FREE GAME, BUT IF YOU SAY NO IN YOUR HOME, HE IS NOT PERMITTED TO DO THIS. I WOULD CALL THE POLICE, FILE A COMPLAINT AND CHARGE HIM.

    If you said NO, THEN HE HAD TO TAKE NO.

    This would be a very good time to have an ATTORNEY WRITE THE INSURANCE COMPANY A LETTER, SAYING NO UNANNOUNCED VISITS FROM THIS GUY OR ANYONE ELSE, NO USE OF PHONIES OR INTIMIDATION TO GET TO YOUR DOOR, AND POINT OUT THAT THE GUY INSISTED TO SEE THINGS WHICH HE HAD NO LEGAL RIGHT TO SEE AND THAT YOU FELT VERY, VERY INTIMIDATED BY HIM, AND EVEN AFRAID THAT HE WOULD RESORT TO VIOLENCE, AS IT SOUNDS THAT HE WAS THAT INTIMIDATING.

    Tell them that the picture WAS ILLEGAL, AND THAT IT DEMONSTRATES THAT THEY ARE WILLING TO RESORT TO ILLEGAL AND UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR, AND DOCUMENT IT.

    THINK SERIOUSLY, ABOUT REPORTING THEM TO YOUR STATE'S BOARD OF INSURANCE. THEY CONTROL THIS KIND OF THING AND THIS COMPANY NEEDS TO HAVE IT DOCUMENTED AGAINST THEM. MY GUESS IS THAT THEY PULLL IT ALL THE TIME.

  14. PepperGirl52

    PepperGirl52 New Member

    I have heard the horror stories of what these insurance people will do to intimidate people.

    I am almost sure one of them parked near my home one day while I was bringing groceries into my house. I made darn sure I didn't bring anything heavier than a gallon of milk in! BUT, to go to the extremes that this person has gone to-it definitely should be against the law!!

    There HAS to be something we can do to take back our privacy!!! Sure, I know that there are people out there on 'disability' who are playing tennis every day, or walking their dogs through the parks, running, building brick walls, etc. But WE who are honest do not need this kind of harrassment!!

    Yes, call your insurance company and let them know that you have a lawyer (whether you do or not), and that you will NOT tolerate this type of invasion of privacy. You have nothing to hide, but the fact that you live in a locked-in apartment should tell them that you want a secure environment, and they have invaded that clear and simple!! Good luck! PG
  15. minimonkey

    minimonkey New Member

    Think of all the money the insurance companies spend doing this kind of stuff -- why don't they use that money to pay disability to truly disabled people????????
  16. renae1979

    renae1979 New Member

    Oh, that would be very scary and stressful!! I agree with the other posters about talking to the building doorman, management, etc., getting legal advice and filing a complaint with the insurance company. And keep in mind that they might be doing surveillance on you from time to time too. What a violation of privacy and more! That is just plain crazy behavior and I'm sorry you had to go through that.
  17. Alyndra

    Alyndra New Member

    I've checked through my initial insurance agreements and in ALL of them they specify that at any point in time, without any prior notice; I can be subject to any forms of their verification which DO include discretionary visits by a part of their company - or a legally binded third party association. Blah blah blah...

    At the beginning of any of my insurance claims I had to sign a sheet of paper that had about 10 different authorizations for them to obtain copies of my medical records, financial situations, etc.

    Needless to say my insurance provider gave out an authorization to just about anyone who might be able to discredit my claim.

    Unfortunately 99% of the time what happened to you is all completely legal, because SOMEWHERE in their fine print or in a reference to a contractual obligation - it's all explained in the most vague and discreet way.

    My insurance spy instead of coming to my home randomly shows up at my doctors offices, and my pharmacy. He takes a copy of everything my doctor has prescribed - and then checks with the pharmacy to make sure I'm refilling my prescriptions on time and consistantly. He also gets a monthly copy of my bank statement showing and money coming into my account, and have also run a credit check to verify I had no other accounts I hadn't told them of.

    If you do come in personal contact with them, they are obligated to show you their certificate or badge, but chances are somewhere in the legal mess of the insurance policies - it explains that they are allowed to conduct their business without having to inform you.

    The last little while I just stand at my front porch and throw a wave and a smile at the 'mystery car' parked facing my house. Usually once that happens they stay gone for awhile!

    So while it's definately a horrible thing; unfortunately it's usually a horribly legal thing, too.


    ~Amanda
  18. Rene

    Rene New Member

    Well good at least you were home. How awful. Yea they followed me after my fuctional capcity test (I found the report) and after my 2 IME dr appts They will always follow you on you independent exams and funtional tests. I saw that on 60 Minutes too they they follow you to the "independent exams"

    Rene
  19. mistress-o-pain

    mistress-o-pain New Member

    I would speak to the doorman and inquire if the man stated he was a cop. Then if he says yes I would report that to the police as that is fraud. I also would ask the police about if there was something else in his mannerism that could be labeled as threatening.
  20. ljf

    ljf New Member

    Thanks to everyone who replied to my post!! It helps!!