EP 404: Frank Abagnale Reveals Scams, Cons, and Rip-offs

September 2, 2019

If you’ve ever seen the Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated film Catch Me If You Can, then you know the story of the boy con artist Frank Abagnale.  Abagnale has since reformed his ways, and he is a leading expert on fraud, forgery and cybersecurity who consults for Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, and law enforcement agencies.  Frank discusses his early life of crime, how he turned it all around, and how he is helping to protect Americans from scammers.  He recalls how wearing the uniform of a pilot or a doctor played on people’s trust of authority, he reveals what kind of personalities were most susceptible to his schemes, and he warns that technology has made it much easier for crooks to pull off the same cons that he got away with in the 1960s.  He discusses which demographics are most vulnerable to fraud and cautions that it actually has nothing to do with how smart you are.  We talk about a range of specific scams including those spam emails from a Nigerian Prince and automated phone calls purporting to be the IRS.  Frank also gets into how con artists are using crowd funding sites, dating apps, and even ancestry companies to rip you off.  Plus Frank reveals why he doesn’t own a debit card and why he wants Americans to do away with passwords once and for all.


Order Frank Abagnale's new book Scam Me If You Can: Simple Strategies to Outsmart Today’s Rip-Off Artists on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold.  Today's podcast was sponsored by Bank of America’s The Academy for Consumer and Small BusinessCapella University's online doctoral program, and BetterHelp online counseling.

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