There is nothing more douchey than a twerpy rich kid flaunting how much money they have on social media. But now there’s a silver-lining: The ostentatious displays of wealth commonly featured on Rich Kids Of Instagram and it’s many spin-offs (i.e: the Rich Kids Of Snapchat, the Rich Kids Of London, and the Rich Kids Of Russia) are helping the authorities bust rich people for fraud.
According to a lengthy feature in The Guardian, investigators admit they monitor a child’s social media account to see if the parent is hiding something suspicious. When the kid posts something ostentatious like a private plane or a yacht, it raises red flags to the authorities about the parent’s wealth. Via The Guardian:
Oisín Fouere, managing director of K2 Intelligence in London, said social media was increasingly their “first port of call”. Their opponent in one asset recovery case claimed to have no significant valuables – until investigators found a social media post by one of his children that revealed they were on his $25m yacht in the Bahamas.
Daniel Hall, director of global judgment enforcement at Burford Capital, said their targets in such cases tended to be people “of a slightly older vintage” who were not prodigious users of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, but whose children, employees and associates often were. The firm recently managed to seize a “newly acquired private jet” in a fraud case because one of the two fraudsters had a son in his 30s who posted a photograph on Instagram of himself and his father standing in front of the plane.
“That’s the kind of jackpot scenario one hopes for,” said Hall.
There’s a similar story involving kids unintentionally snitching on their parents during a divorce settlement. Via:
Andrew Beckett, managing director of cybersecurity and investigations at Kroll, said the firm uncovered multimillion-pound hidden assets in a divorce case last year by monitoring the location of the children’s social media posts. The court ordered the husband to give his wife $30m, but he claimed not to have such assets.
“We monitored social media, particularly for his children, who were in their 20s, and found a lot of posts from the same geo-tagged sites,” said Beckett. “Cross-referencing that with land registry and other similar bodies overseas, we found half a dozen properties that were registered in the name of this person.
“We were able to go to the court with a list of assets that we conservatively estimated at $60m, which the court then seized until he settled the amount that had been ordered.”