Identity theft expert named AARP ambassador

AARP New York said it has announced that Frank W. Abagnale, nationally renowned expert on identity theft and fraud schemes, has been named AARP Fraud Watch Network Ambassador.

Abagnale will work with the Fraud Watch Network to provide online programs and community forums to educate consumers about ways to protect themselves from identity theft and cybercrime.

Once one of the world´s most famous con artists, Abagnale´s story was told in his best-selling book, Catch Me if You Can, and in the 2002 movie of the same name, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. After successfully posing as various professionals such as an airline pilot, an attorney and a doctor, and cashing millions in fraudulent checks, Abagnale was caught and served prison time. Upon release, he agreed to assist federal law enforcement agencies, and has been associated with the FBI for more than four decades. Abagnale also advises financial institutions, corporations and government agencies around the world.

“Our technology today seemingly has made it easier for the scam artists. There is a new victim of identity theft every two seconds in the United States,” said Chris Widelo, Associate State director for AARP in New York. “Frank Abagnale´s guidance as AARP Fraud Watch Network Ambassador will be highly effective in educating our members and the public about ways to protect themselves and their families from fraud.”