FORT WORTH -- You might’ve seen Catch Me If You Can. You know, the movie based on a man in the 1960s who conned people out of millions of dollars and successfully posed as a pilot, a doctor, and a prosecutor -- all before he turned 19.
This is no act. NewsFix got to catch up with Frank Abagnale who did prison time for fraud, forgery, and more. He talked of the moments when he started a string of crimes. After his parents divorced, he ran away and tried to survive.
“I’ve been with the FBI for 40 years. My own son is an FBI agent,” Abagnale smiled.
NewsFix asked if he thought he could pull off the same kind of cons today as he did in the '60s. The answer might surprise you.
“Unfortunately, I think it’s thousands of times easier than when I did it," he said. "When I printed checks, I needed a Heidelberg Printing Press. There were color separations, negatives, and plates. Today, one just opens a laptop and then creates a beautiful four-color check in 15 minutes, then simply prints it out on check paper printed from Office Depot."
Now, he travels the globe helping folks -- like his audience at a retirement community at the Stayton -- protect themselves from those who do what he used to do.
“When I was in high school many years ago, he came and spoke to our high school. It was something I remembered some 30 years later,” attendee Bill Daley said. "When the movie came out, I said, 'I met that guy.' So, it was interesting catching up."
“He’s such a gentle person and he has the gift of gab and he’s very believable, so you can see how he was able to take on those different roles,” Kathryn Bryan said. “I was very impressed by his value for his family.”
“I’m not amazed by what I did between 16-21 that brought me that notoriety, but I’m amazed at what I’ve done with my life. Been married 39 years," Abagnale explained. "It’s just amazing where my life has gone since then and when I look back on my life, that is what I’m most amazed about."