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Frank Abagnale of "Catch Me if You Can" Fame is Coming to St. Louis

Posted on 09/24/18 by JoAnn Rose, AARP Missouri

The con-artist-turned-security expert who inspired the movie “Catch Me If You Can” is coming to Missouri with tips on how to avoid scams.

Before he was old enough to vote, Frank Abagnale was considered by the FBI to be the most successful bank robber in American history.

He didn’t use a gun – rather, he used his wits, his charm, and his skill as a forger.

And he soon branched out — he became one of the most famous impostors ever, claiming to have assumed no fewer than eight identities, including an airline pilot, a physician, a U.S. Bureau of Prisons agent, and a lawyer. He escaped from police custody twice — once from a taxiing airliner and once from a U.S. federal penitentiary — before he was 21 years old.

He served prison terms in France, Sweden, and eventually the United States, before he got an offer he couldn’t refuse from the FBI agent who had pursued him — he was asked to come work for the agency undercover, helping prevent the very types of crimes he had committed so successfully.

Abagnale’s exploits were depicted in Steven Spielberg’s award winning movie ‘Catch Me If You Can,’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Abagnale and Tom Hanks as the FBI agent who pursued and captured him.

More than 40 years later, Abagnale still works with the FBI, and also runs a consulting firm which specializes in uncovering and preventing commercial fraud. Abagnale has written three books on fraud and scams.

Three years ago, he was approached by AARP to become a “Fraud Watch Ambassador,” and it is in this role that he’s coming to St. Louis to speak about how to spot and avoid scams.

The presentation will be at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 6:30 pm. While the presentation is free, tickets are required due to limited seating.

The event also offers a resource fair focused on fraud and consumer protection. Doors open at 5:45 pm.

“Frank’s personal experiences will provide invaluable insight into the mind of a con artist, and provide attendees with a firsthand understanding of how people of all backgrounds can be caught in the net of the scam artist,” said Craig Eichelman, AARP Missouri State Director. “This free event gives the community an opportunity to experience the AARP Fraud Watch Network mission to empower consumers with the tools and information they need to protect themselves and their loved ones from scams.”

Seating is limited and registration is required. There will be a question and answer period following his presentation.

Quick Glance Details:

WHAT:
An Evening with Frank Abagnale on fraud prevention sponsored by AARP Missouri.

WHEN:
Thursday, November 8, 2018
6:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Doors Open / Resource Fair
7:00 – 8:30 p.m. – Frank Abagnale Presentation

There will be a question and answer period following Mr. Abagnale’s presentation.

WHERE:
Touhill Performing Arts Center – UMSL campus
One University Boulevard
St. Louis, Missouri 63121

DETAILS:
The event is free and open to the public. Due to limited seating, an RSVP is required.  Please click on the register button below or call toll free 1-877-926-8300 to register by phone.

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