Fraud expert behind 'Catch Me If You Can' gives advice to Houston seniors

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Name the scam, and Frank Abagnale has probably gotten away with it.

The subject of the hit movie, "Catch me if you Can," swindled businesses out of millions of dollars. He's posed as a doctor, a lawyer, even an airline pilot.

"Most people are honest," Abagnale said. "Because they're honest, they don't think in a deceptive way."

After he was finally captured, Abagnale got out of prison after less than five years for agreeing to work with the FBI. What better fraud expert than a literal expert in fraud?

"If you were to tell me 50 years ago that what I was doing would be thousands of times easier down the road, I'd have thought you were crazy," he said.

Even at 67, Abagnale still has enough charm to make you believe anything. Today, he's working with AARP, educating seniors about their safety.

His three biggest tips:
--Shred your important documents
--Replace your debit card with a credit card
--Stop writing checks

Margaret Spivey wishes she heard that before someone stole her identity and wrote a thousand dollars' worth of bad checks.

"I felt my privacy invaded and I didn't know what they would do next," said Spivey.

"She wrote a check somewhere. Somebody copied the information off the check," Abagnale explained. "Then they went online and simply ordered 200 checks that look like her checks."
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