Frank Abagnale was 16 when he posed as an airline pilot, and by age 21, convinced people he was a doctor, a lawyer or a special agent, depending on the situation. Devorah Lanner, with AARP, says the talk by Abagnale is part of the organization’s Fraud Watch series.
“He is perhaps one of the most famous con artists in recent history,” Lanner says. “Frank Abagnale was portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie, “Catch Me If You Can.” He will be sharing his knowledge and tips with the public about how we can all protect ourselves from being scammed and having our identity stolen.” While Abagnale’s exploits were depicted in the film that was set in the 1960s, he’s spent the following decades helping the authorities to outsmart crooks.
“He was a con artist from age 16 to 21 and then he was caught and agreed to cooperate with the FBI,” Lanner says. “He has now been working as a consultant for the FBI for about the last 40 years.” Abagnale is AARP’s Fraud Watch Ambassador and he will speak at Omaha’s Jewish Community Center tonight (Thursday), though the event is already sold out. “For people who can’t attend, because we are full, you can go to our website: aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork,” Lanner says. “There are links to videos with Frank Abagnale and also an online scam and fraud quiz.” Abagnale is also scheduled to speak at Iowa State University on September 21st.
(Thanks to Karla James)