The Art of the Steal: How to Protect Yourself and Your Business from Fraud, America's #1 Crime

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The world--famous former con artist and bestselling author of Catch Me if You Can now reveals the mind--boggling tricks of the scam trade--with advice that has made him one of America's most sought--after fraud--prevention experts.

"I had as much knowledge as any man alive concerning the mechanics of forgery, check swindling, counterfeiting, and other similar crimes. Ever since I'd been released from prison, I'd often felt that if I directed this knowledge into the right channels, I could help people a great deal. Every time I went to the store and wrote a check, I would see two or three mistakes made on the part of the clerk or cashier, mistakes that a flimflam artist would take advantage of. . . . In a certain sense, I'm still a con artist. I'm just putting down a positive con these days, as opposed to the negative con I used in the past. I've merely redirected the talents I've always possessed. I've applied the same relentless attention to working on stopping fraud that I once applied to perpetuating fraud."

In Catch Me if You Can, Frank W. Abagnale recounted his youthful career as a master imposter and forger. In The Art of the Steal, Abagnale tells the remarkable story of how he parlayed his knowledge of cons and scams into a successful career as a consultant on preventing financial foul play--while showing you how to identify and outsmart perpetrators of fraud.

Technology may have made it easier to track down criminals, but cyberspace has spawned a skyrocketing number of ways to commit crime--much of it untraceable. Businesses are estimated to lose an unprecedented $400 billion a year from fraud of one sort or another. If we were able to do away with fraud for just two years, we'd erase the national debt and pay Social Security for the next one hundred years. However, Abagnale has discovered that punishment for committing fraud, much less recovery of stolen funds, seldom happens: Once you're a victim, you won't get your money back. Prevention is the best form of protection.

Drawn from his twenty-five years of experience as an ingenious con artist (whose check scams alone mounted to more than $2 million in stolen funds), Abagnale's The Art of the Steal provides eye-opening stories of true scams, with tips on how they can be prevented. Abagnale takes you deep inside the world and mind of the con artist, showing you just how he pulled off his scams and what you can do to avoid becoming the next victim. You'll hear the stories of notorious swindles, like the mustard squirter trick and the "rock in the box" ploy, and meet the criminals like the famous Vickers Gang who perpetrated them. You'll find out why crooks wash checks and iron credit cards and why a thief brings glue with him to the ATM. And finally, you'll learn how to recognize a bogus check or a counterfeit bill, and why you shouldn't write your grocery list on a deposit slip.
A revealing look inside the predatory criminal mind from a former master of the con, The Art of the Steal is the ultimate defense against even the craftiest crook.


From the Hardcover edition.
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More by Frank Abagnale

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The charismatic forger immortalized in the film Catch Me If You Can exposes the astonishing tactics of today’s identity theft criminals and offers powerful strategies to thwart them based on his second career as an acclaimed fraud-fighting consultant.
Consider these sobering facts:

        *Six out of ten American companies and government agencies have already been hacked.

        *An estimated 80 percent of birth certificate requests are fulfilled through the mail for people using only a name and a return address. So I could take your name and use my address, and get your birth certificate. From there I’m off to the races.

        *Americans write 39 billion checks a year, and half of these folks never reconcile their bank statements.

        *A Social Security number costs $49 on the black market. A driver’s license goes for $90. A birth certificate will set you back $79.


When Frank Abagnale trains law enforcement officers around the country about identity theft, he asks officers for their names and addresses and nothing more. In a matter of hours he can obtain everything he would need to steal their lives: Social Security numbers, dates of birth, current salaries, checking account numbers, the names of everyone in their families, and more. This illustrates how easy it is for anyone from anywhere in the world to assume our identities and in a matter of hours devastate our lives in ways that can take years to recover from. Considering that a fresh victim is hit every four seconds, Stealing Your Life is the reference everyone needs by an unsurpassed authority on the latest identity theft schemes.

Abagnale offers dozens of concrete steps to transform anyone from an easy mark into a hard case that criminals are likely to bypass:

• Don’t allow your kids to use the computer on which you do online banking and store financial records (children are apt to download games and attachments that host damaging viruses or attract spyware).

• Beware of offers that appeal to greed or fear in exchange for personal data.

• Monitor your credit report regularly and know if anyone’s been “knocking on your door.”

• Read privacy statements carefully and choose to opt out of sharing information whenever possible.


Brimming with anecdotes of creative criminality that are as entertaining as they are enlightening, Stealing Your Life is the practical way to shield yourself from one of today’s most nefarious and common crimes.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Crown Business
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Published on
Jan 29, 2002
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9780767910910
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Personal Finance / General
Computers / Security / General
True Crime / White Collar Crime
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The charismatic forger immortalized in the film Catch Me If You Can exposes the astonishing tactics of today’s identity theft criminals and offers powerful strategies to thwart them based on his second career as an acclaimed fraud-fighting consultant.
Consider these sobering facts:

        *Six out of ten American companies and government agencies have already been hacked.

        *An estimated 80 percent of birth certificate requests are fulfilled through the mail for people using only a name and a return address. So I could take your name and use my address, and get your birth certificate. From there I’m off to the races.

        *Americans write 39 billion checks a year, and half of these folks never reconcile their bank statements.

        *A Social Security number costs $49 on the black market. A driver’s license goes for $90. A birth certificate will set you back $79.


When Frank Abagnale trains law enforcement officers around the country about identity theft, he asks officers for their names and addresses and nothing more. In a matter of hours he can obtain everything he would need to steal their lives: Social Security numbers, dates of birth, current salaries, checking account numbers, the names of everyone in their families, and more. This illustrates how easy it is for anyone from anywhere in the world to assume our identities and in a matter of hours devastate our lives in ways that can take years to recover from. Considering that a fresh victim is hit every four seconds, Stealing Your Life is the reference everyone needs by an unsurpassed authority on the latest identity theft schemes.

Abagnale offers dozens of concrete steps to transform anyone from an easy mark into a hard case that criminals are likely to bypass:

• Don’t allow your kids to use the computer on which you do online banking and store financial records (children are apt to download games and attachments that host damaging viruses or attract spyware).

• Beware of offers that appeal to greed or fear in exchange for personal data.

• Monitor your credit report regularly and know if anyone’s been “knocking on your door.”

• Read privacy statements carefully and choose to opt out of sharing information whenever possible.


Brimming with anecdotes of creative criminality that are as entertaining as they are enlightening, Stealing Your Life is the practical way to shield yourself from one of today’s most nefarious and common crimes.
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