Unum’s Bad Santa……Surveillance?

Evil SantaHere is an email I received from one of my clients. She wanted to share her experience, feelings and emotions about being watched and surveilled.

Tonight, I was followed. I thought I would share it with you to give your readers insight on how it can happen, and how it makes a person feel.

I live in a middle upper-class neighborhood that is not easy to sit around the corner and do surveillance. At the entrance to my neighborhood, as I was leaving, I noticed a small white car sitting there on the side of the road. The only reason I thought it was odd, is because it looked like it had decal stickers with three numbers and the word “news” something like 632 NEWS. The sticker or decals clearly looked like something someone could buy at Walmart and stick on their car. It also did not advertise any of the local news stations company names that obviously I would know.

Still, I didn’t think too much of it because we have many college students that come home and attempt to use models from our neighborhood or experiences people have had from our neighborhood for their news or art. I probably got about 5 miles down the road when my daughter, who was at dance practice, called and said she had the wrong pants at dance. So I turned around and went home. I got my daughters pants and proceeded to leave again.

I came up to another neighborhood and noticed that same car was sitting at my building entrance and observed it quickly do a U-turn almost causing an accident trying to turn around so fast once the car saw me. Now, the surveillance is starting to get my attention. And no, I wasn’t being paranoid because I wasn’t even thinking about that. Those of us  with long-term disability insurance all have paranoia to some degree, but I truly didn’t think it was something I had to worry about at this time.

You see, I have been home all day taking two naps, eating my healthy meals, and conserving energy so that I could attend my sons first 45 minute flag football game.  I was very excited because he was so excited and couldn’t wait for me to see him. Now even though this has my attention I’m still not too concerned until I pull into EarthFare  to meet my mother and hand off my daughters pants for her to take to my daughter’s dance class. Guess who’s 4 or 5 cars down.  The same car!

When I left EarthFare, I decided to take a back road that I knew would dead end and had lots of construction. I then took multiple different routes until I finally ended up in the parking lot of my son’s flag football game. The car continued to follow me the whole time. To be honest with you, I took all those alternate routes because it took quite a few jags and turns before I could believe I was actually being surveilled.

It’s in the evening and for some reason, I think many of us don’t expect it in the evening. So I get out and start walking towards my sons flag football game. I then stopped and waited.  Guess who finally came through the gate – the person I saw in the white car. He was wearing a sports like shirt with blue, and I think gray or white, or maybe all three colors that almost looked like a coaches type shirt. He had a big camera bag and a hard clip board, trying very hard to look like a news reporter.

I would go a little ways and he would go a little ways then stop and quickly act like he was writing something as he was staring at all the different flag football games. I made eye contact with him a few times as I was texting my husband to please hurry up and come meet me. My husband arrived.  I purposely walked past this man and told him to please not follow me anymore and I proceeded to continue to my son‘s flag football game on field four. He continued to follow me. I would walk 3 steps and stop, he would walk 3 steps and stop. Now it was very obvious. I purposely pointed at him and my husband who was fed up turned around and started rushing towards him to confront him. I’ve never seen anyone move so fast. He quickly ran away and disappeared. I am sure he just hid somewhere else to watch me. I wasn’t going to let it completely ruin my excitement to watch my son’s first game. I sat in a chair and focused on him.

I was gone from my house for approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours. I did nothing out of my restrictions or anything that I’ve ever claimed I couldn’t do so the peeper investigator did not get anything on me. Nor will he ever.

I want to thank my client for sharing this experience with me. Here we are heading into the holidays and claimants are forced to deal with being followed by their insurers making them feel guilty, uncomfortable and angry at disturbing their privacy. Most investigators today are pushy, arrogant and often do not care if they are confronted.

In the past, investigators slid down in their cars trying not to be seen, but today they stand right in front of you with video cameras daring you to get into a car and drive away. The simplest of things, like watching a son’s football game, is turned into a peep show for the purpose of denying legitimate, payable benefits.

I do know that Unum’s surveillance investigators are out in full force. Please do not exceed your reported medical restrictions and limitations.

Thanks again to my client for sharing with others. I do welcome emails from others who wish to share their thoughts and case stories. I will post them, if you send them to me in an email.