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HIALEAH (CBSMiami) —  Authorities in Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, and Medley took to the streets on Thursday in search of drivers using  fake insurance cards.

The use of fake insurance cards is a national epidemic, according to National Insurance Crime Bureau. Some blame the economic downturn for drivers opting for fake cards instead of purchasing legitimate insurance.

“If you have a printer and you have a computer, you can download a fake insurance card and it looks real. You can put your name on it and you can get away with this temporarily,” explained Hialeah Police spokesman Carl Zogby.

Officer Megan Amago added, “The fraudulent cards are very well made. You can’t tell sometimes it’s fraudulent.”

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On Thursday, officers stopped various drivers and asked for their license, registration and proof of insurance. Once they had the information, they contacted the insurance company to verify the policy.

If the company confirmed the insurance card was fraudulent, the driver would get arrested.

Police say there were  total of two arrests for fraudulent insurance cards. Additionally, there were 27 other traffic related arrests, according to police.

While the effort is meant to curb auto insurance fraud,  drivers in Florida are still affected by those who use fake or fraudulent insurance cards. Costs incurred during accidents involving those who are uninsured are eventually passed on to legal drivers through out-of-pocket expenses or higher insurance rates to recover losses.

“A household with two to three vehicles is paying probably $300 more a year because of the fraud epidemic especially here in South Florida,” said Michael Fella with United Auto Insurance.

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