NU Online News Service, July 26, 2004, 5:37 p.m. EST

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., has launched a campaign to fight sellers of fake insurance coverage.[@@]

The campaign is encouraging consumers to “Stop. Call. Confirm.” before they buy insurance.

NAIC officials cite a report from the U.S. General Accountability Office that shows that 144 fake health insurers sold fake policies to at least 200,000 consumers between 2000 and 2002. The fake policies left consumers with $252 million in unpaid claims, the GAO says.

Frank Abagnale, a retired forger whose story was told in the movie “Catch Me If You Can,” is the national campaign spokesman. He is appearing in television and radio public service announcements for the campaign.

The campaign will recommend that consumers think twice when they encounter high-pressure sales tactics and premiums that are more than 15% below a product’s typical price.