How Not to Fall for a Scam | Mechanics' Institute

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How Not to Fall for a Scam

Many people know about Frank Abignale from having watched the movie Catch Me If You Can (starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Tom Hanks). The real-life Frank Abignale has spent his post-criminal life working to prevent the sort of crimes he used to commit. Contrary to the movie version, he never accepted money from law enforcement, providing his consulting services and classes to law enforcement agencies for free. He has made his living advising corporations and banks. For example, the forgery deterent measure that we typically see on machine-generated checks -- the black box of "negative space" that shows the numerals in the white of the paper -- was his invention. In his earlier book, The Art of the Steal, he explained various cons that affect businesses and indivduals, along with advice for how to avoid them. Now as many of us grow older and plan for or have already started living on our investments, reading his newest book takes on a great deal of importance. 

Abignale writes in a clear, direct style that communicates his advice very effectively. His use of colorful examples and anecdotes to illustrate his points makes his books a pleasure to read. In addition, he has kept up with technological progress. Abignale provides advice about what photo not to post on social media, the best way to protect your phone from being hacked, and the only conditions under which you should use the WIFI networks at the airport, to name a few. Most importantly, much of his advice proves a bit counter-intuitive, making it all the more necessary to read up on the latest cons because the counter-measures would not occur to most of us.

To place a hold, Log into your library account then click on this title: Scam Me if you Can : Simple Strategies to Outsmart Today's Rip-off Artists

FYI, another book by Frank Abignale on this topic, published in 2007: Stealing Your Life : The Ultimate Identity Theft Prevention Plan. (Online version available free from the Internet Archive; you must register for a free account to access). 

Posted on Sep. 19, 2019 by Steven Dunlap