Famed scammer-turned-FBI consultant speaks to a packed crowd in Las Vegas
Frank Abagnale knows a thing or two about crooks - he used to be one. Most Americans know Abagnale from the movie made about his life of crime, the Steven Spielberg film Catch Me if You Can. Yet it is Abagnale's 40+ year work as a fraud consultant and expert with the FBI that is his true legacy.
Stopping in Las Vegas for an AARP Nevada Fraud Watch Network presentation last week, Abagnale talked about his life story but also gave practical tips and sobering information to help Nevadans protect themselves from scams.
Frank Abagnale's presentation may just be the best one-man-show you'll ever see. - Academy Award Winning Actor Tom Hanks
"Scam artists are the same the were 50 years ago," Abagnale said prior to his presentation. "The difference is technology now allows them to do it anywhere in the world. We used to have to worry about the forger or scammer in our own backyard. Now, a scammer in Moscow, sitting in his pajamas, drinking coffee in his kitchen, can steal your identity. That's how technology has changed the game but the core of what they do hasn't changed."
The crowd of 600 Las Vegans listened to Abagnale tell how his story differed from the movie, including harrowing tales of his time in French and Swiss prisons. He also expressed his love for his father who he never saw again after running away at age 16. His father would die after slipping on a subway stairwell in New York while he was serving a prison sentence for forgery in France.
Abagnale is the national ambassador for the AARP Fraud Watch Network and speaks all over the nation helping normal folks avoid scams and rip-offs. He recommends people join the AARP Fraud Watch Network to stay a step ahead of the crooks.
"I love the work I do with AARP Fraud Watch Network because of how proactive they are," Abagnale said. "You sign up for free and get fraud Watchdog Alerts right to your phone or email telling you what's going on in your area. That's incredibly valuable and may just save you from having your identity stolen."
You can join the Fraud Watch Network for free, and you can read more about Mr. Abagnale's work by visiting his website.
You can watch the Las Vegas presentation in its entirety below, as well as his TeleTown Hall from earlier in the day.
Frank Abagnale Live from the Gold Coast Hotel & Casino - Las Vegas, NV
AARP Nevada Fraud Watch Network TeleTown Hall with Frank Abagnale
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