A few days ago, I rented a movie I’d heard much about but one that had escaped my attention during my busy parenting days in 2002 when it first surfaced. “Catch Me if You Can” details the early life of a legendary con artist who was able to get away with unbelievable scams.
Between the ages of 16 and 21, Frank W. Abagnale successfully posed as an airline pilot, an attorney, a doctor and cashed millions in fraudulent checks. He eventually got caught and his exploits were depicted in the biographical crime movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.
Fast forward to today, surrounded by smart phones, debit cards, multiple passwords, robo-callers, online dating and many other developments often used to separate us from our money. As Abagnale puts it: “What I did in my youth is hundreds of times easier today. Technology breeds crime.”
How do we fight back?
On Thursday, August 15, Abagnale will tell us just that during An Evening with Frank Abagnale at the Eisemann Center 2351 Performance Dr. in Richardson. Abagnale’s discussion will be followed by a Q&A session.
Fortunately for us, Abagnale turned his life around in a big way. For more than 40 years, he has advised the FBI on how to outsmart con artists. Now he will teach us the tricks of the trade to spot and avoid modern-day scams. The event in Richardson is sponsored by AARP and its web site -- AARP Fraud Watch Network -- a free resource to help you protect yourself and your family from ID theft and scams.
This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Parking is $5 self-park, $10 valet or take the DART Train to Galatyn Park Station. To register, visit aarp.cvent.com/franka-tx or call 1-877-926-8300.
And before the event find out how fraud smart you really are by taking the Catch the Con Quiz.
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Rafael Ayuso is communications director for AARP Texas, a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization with 38 million members nationwide, including more than 2.3 million in Texas.