How to Outsmart Con Artists

An Evening with Frank Abagnale Jr.

Sponsored by AARP.

A few days ago, I rented a movie I’d heard much about but that had escaped my attention when it was first released in 2002: “Catch Me If You Can.” The film details the early life of legendary con artist Frank Abagnale, Jr., who eluded authorities for years while he got away with unbelievable scams.

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Frank Abagnale, Jr., as portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in “Catch Me If You Can”, 2002


Mr. Abagnale’s unique blend of knowledge and skill first took root in the 1960s. He became one of the world’s most famous conmen by perfecting the art of charm throughout his exploits.

Between the ages of 16 and 21, Abagnale successfully passed himself off as an airline pilot, an attorney, a physician, and assistant professor. He cashed millions of dollars in fraudulent checks. Though he eventually was caught, his life of crime caught the eye of Hollywood, and his escapades were depicted in the biographical crime film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.

Now, Frank Abignale, Jr., is one of the world’s most respected authorities on forgery and embezzlement. For more than 40 years, he has advised the FBI, corporations, and financial institutions on how to outsmart con artists.

Today, we are surrounded by smartphones, debit cards, multiple passwords, robo-calls, online dating, and many other ways used to separate us from our money. Abignale says. “What I did in my youth is hundreds of times easier today. Technology breeds crime.”

An Evening with Frank AbagnaleHOW TO FIGHT BACK against con artists.

Q & A will follow Abignale’s discussion.

Get in the know — Before the event find out how fraud smart you really are by taking the Catch the Con Quiz.

Where: Eisemann Center | 2351 Performance Dr. in Richardson

When: Thursday, August 15 | 7 – 8:30pm

Cost: FREE

Phone: 1-877-926-8300

Register:  | Registration is required

Web: AARP Fraud Watch Network — a free resource to help you protect yourself and your family from ID theft and scams.

Extra:  Parking, $5 self-park | $10 valet | Take the DART Train to Galatyn Park Station

Visit: AARP Fraud Watch Network — a free resource to help you protect yourself and your family from ID theft and scams.


Rafael Ayuso

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. Prior to his current position, Rafael worked for 12 years as media director for the Southwest Regional Office of Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports. He served in key communications positions with the Texas Department of Insurance and the City of Austin. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Indiana University and a master's degree in communications from the University of Oklahoma. A native of Cuba, Rafael is academically and professionally trained as an English-to-Spanish translator.

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