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. 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. 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.
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.
This is more like a textbook. Some of the information is useful, but frankly, I found most of it too abstract. It's probably more useful to business owners than to the average person. Like there's most of a chapter devoted to how to design checks that are hard for forgers to manipulate. That kind of thing. It's not the same kind of book at all. Wow, if you don't get paranoid about your security after reading this book, then you didn't understand it well enough.
He tells how to recognize counterfeit money, how scams operate, how to protect your credit cards, how thieves can get into your home, where they look for valuables, and much more. I've always been security-aware, but this explained things I hadn't even thought about -- like not having your home alarm panel visible from outside the house. Thieves can tell if it's turned on or not. He tells how to protect your bank checks and why you should avoid the types with cute puppies or flowers on them.
He tells how sales receipts have been used to rip off stores. Having been a counterfeiter and a thief himself, he reveals all the tricks of the trade. The book will give you many "aha! It will even make you laugh out loud at the cleverness of some shysters. Armed with Frank's knowledge, you can outsmart many of the people who are looking for an easy way to rip off your home or business. If you make it more difficult, they'll go where the pickings are easier. Plus, the book is like sitting with Frank and listening to him retell his "war stories.
The things that can be done with receipts, credit cards and cheques is amazing.
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I have to admit I'm astonished after reading this that in cheques are still so widely used everyday in the USA and that they are cashed in so many places like corner stores and supermarkets etc - its something you'd never see in Australia where cheques are dying in use only cashed in a few places like banks under restricted circumstances. Its no wonder there's so much fraud with them in the states.
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Knowledge can be a two edged sword as the author of this book readily acknowledges. On the one hand it can help people who don't know any better avoid scams on the other hand this book is a good primer for people who want to learn some basics of the con for themselves. Some of the techniques in this book are very American-centric based on weaknesses in the financial system there but other such as short change artist getting you at the till are much more international. All said this is a fascinating read on how the best intentions can be turned on their head and how a willingness to believe the best in everyone will probably only get you ripped off eventually by those who do not have the same principles.
Book: The Art of the Steal
The methods of the con may change over the years hence the move to on-line fraud these days but this book can give you a valuable insight into some of the ingenious methods of fraud, both simple and complex. One person found this helpful. Frank Abagnale starts off with some very interesting and specifiic details in a book that's pretty good reading. In the final portion of the book, maybe just for filler, the author then muddies the course and gets ambiguous, giving us information that really does not explain or solve anything for the reader--it's vague and general themes that we all hear constantly, and the only real way to get the monkey off our back would be to climb into some hole and shut the computer off.
Fortunately though, Frank offers a lot of good wisdom elsewhere in his book, and shows promise as a continuing author. I thinks it's almost humorous just how blatantly daring somebody is to pull off these cons, and in broad daylight, so to speak. People seem to have a hard time with simple details; any cop will tell you that, and simple things are what get us every time. For a followup book, I would hope that Frank Abagnale, Jr.
It seems the elderly could certainly use some help in refreshing their power of discernment.
In essence, the con plays are anything unknown; they are used every day and the cops are all too familiar with them. By writing them down, maybe we could recognize a 'new one' for our own information, and be able to reference the 'old tricks' for our future reference and preservation. Frank certainly writes in a very understandable and informative manner.
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The art of the steal : how to protect yourself and your business from fraud--America's #1 crime
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