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The Art of the Steal

Ralph spends the hour with fraud expert, Frank Abagnale, inspiration for the Spielberg film, “Catch Me If You Can.”  They talk about how to protect yourself from identity theft and other scams in our high tech, digital economy.  Plus listener questions!

One pilot, stockbroker, and of the most daring con men, forgers, imposters, and escape artists in history, Frank  Abagnale enjoyed a brief but notorious criminal career during which he assumed various identities — including those of airline  doctor — in order to pass off approximately $2.5 million in phony checks before he reached the age of twenty-one.  His criminal adventures inspired Steven Spielberg’s film, Catch Me If You Can and the Tony-Award winning musical of the same name.  Now, Mr. Abagnale is one of the world’s most respected authorities on forgery, embezzlement, and secure documents.  For over forty years he has worked with, advised, and consulted with hundreds of financial institutions, corporations and government agencies around the world.  In addition to “Catch Me If You Can,” his books include “The Art of the Steal,” “The Real U Guide to Identity Theft”and “Stealing Your Life.”

“Obviously technology breeds crime. It always has, and it always will. And there always be people using technology in a negative, self-serving way. So, it’s a lot easier today to do some of the things that I did before.” – Frank Abagnale


  1. elisabeth solomon says:

    every single time i use my iphone hot spot to listen to RNRH (since i have no home-based internet provider) the program stops at about 10-15 min and will not start again. how come?

  2. Tiffany Ernemann says:

    You spoke at length about fraud against the government. Please indicate where I can find the facts and figures you quoted.

  3. David H. says:

    Frank Abagnale’s position is sort of alternate to Richard Stallman’s view on effective regulation/control, isn’t it?

    Thank you, Ralph Nader Radio Hour!!!!!!

  4. Stacey Allard says:

    This was fantastic!! Thank you Ralph & Frank!

  5. Ralph Nader sure would have made a great President. This was a great hour. Thanks!

  6. Michele Maserjian says:

    show was excellent. great information!

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