Frank Abagnale is arguably America’s most famous con man.
He was a professional imposter whose life inspired the character played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the film “Catch Me If You Can.”
After getting caught and serving time, Abagnale became one of the FBI’s good guys, using his inside knowledge of how scammers work to protect Americans from thieves who would happily con them out of their hard-earned money.
Abagnale has just come out with a new book about simple strategies to help you outsmart today’s rip-off artists.
All proceeds from the book go to AARP, who commissioned him to write it.
In a recent interview with ThinkAdvisor magazine, Abagnale cautioned consumers that it’s getting harder and harder to protect themselves from today’s sophisticated scams, and the very frightening possibility of a cyber attack.
“There is no foolproof system,” he says. “If you believe you have a foolproof system, then you have failed to take into consideration the creativity of fools.”
The best defense, says Abagnale, is learning the two red flags of every scam.
“In every scam, no matter how sophisticated or amateurish, there are two red flags: One, the scammer says they need the money immediately; two, they ask for personal information, like your Social Security number and date of birth. If you learn these red flags and act on them, you’ll never be scammed,” says Abagnale.
That’s good advice we should all keep in mind!