South Florida officials are cracking down on fraudulent insurance cards after seeing an increase in the region.
"We're noticing a little trend with it recently," said Broward Sheriff's Office Deputy Robert Boris.
Boris, who patrols Dania Beach, says the problem is that when he makes a regular traffic stop he has no way of verifying the authenticity of the card.
"If someone was to take this card and it was fraudulent how easy would it be to take that off and add an 11 or a 12 and we would never know, this is just a piece of paper," Boris said.
Templates are sold online where anyone can easily doctor on their own or by using Internet sites that sell you templates with the disclaimer that they don’t encourage illegal activity.
"You need to stop them from doing that. I don’t know what can be done but something needs to be done 50," said James Franklin, who was driving in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday.
According to the Florida Department of Financial Services, there has been an increase in the number of people arrested and convicted for this crime but agencies that investigate it like the National Insurance Crime Bureau, or NICB, say that many criminals are not getting caught.
Because it’s so difficult to identify, agencies like the the sheriff’s office are teaming up with insurance companies to crack down on this crime which is a third-degree felony in Florida.
"We’ve been running a few operations with joint cities where a few of the representatives say from Allstate, Geico, State Farm. They meet with us and more or less on speed dial we can call them up right away and they can tell us where it’s fraudulent or not," Boris said.
These operations are ongoing and because of the severity of the crime, cops say if you get caught in one of these stings, there’s no getting off the hook.
"It’s not a question of please don’t take me. If you’re fraudulently changing your insurance card, you’re going to jail," Boris said.