AARP Wisconsin brought Frank Abagnale to Madison on Thursday, to talk about how not be be a victim of scam artists. As a young man, Abagnale was a successful scammer himself.
“Most of all these scams are the same scams that have been going on for 50, 60 years. The difference is the technology that has made it so much easier to do and so much more convincing. To be able to manipulate peoples’ caller IDs and phone numbers, to be able to do the crime from thousands of miles away, from India, from China, from Russia.”
Abagnale, whose career as a con-man was depicted in the movie “Catch Me If You Can” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, said people continue to get taken advantage of by scammers, because they’re basically honest.
“Once you kind of educate people and give them the proper tools, they’re smart enough to protect themselves. But you can’t rely on the police, you can’t rely on the government, you can’t rely on the bank to protect you. You today have to be a smarter consumer, a wiser business person than you did 20 years ago, so you really have to educate yourself to protect yourself.
Abagnale is now a cybersecurity and fraud prevention expert, and has been an adviser to the FBI for over 40 years.