Catfishing – Are you hooked?

If you are like us, you have been introduced to the term “catfish” or “catfishing” this past week with the story of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o.  The term derives it meaning from a show on MTV that was inspired by a movie.  Essentially, for internet sport and entertainment, there is a subculture of individuals that put forth false internet identities in order to deceive people.  Although, the story makes for great reading, it does underscore the lengths people can go to for whatever reason, to hide the truth or create imaginary identities.   We suppose it is all harmless fun until one of these imaginary persons winds up on your benefit plan or is a basis for an FMLA leave request.  Although we may not have known it, WestLake has been defending plans against the catfish since before there was catfishing with dependent eligibility verification (DEV) audits.  A DEV audit is a great way to reduce benefit costs and send a message to employees that your plans are protected against unwarranted expenses.