Catch Me If You Can Book Summary By Frank Abagnale and Stan Redding

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Catch Me If You Can is a book by Frank Abagnale, who tells his unbelievable story of swindling millions of dollars from victims while posing as a pilot, lawyer and professor.

It was first published in 1980, and has become a legend ever since.

The book follows his daring escapades, showing how he managed to interact with all types of people while keeping up his various personas.

Though he ultimately got caught (as the title implies) it's still an amazing journey full of daring twist and turns.

It’s an incredible story that any reader will be fascinated by!

Catch Me If You Can Book

Book Name: Catch Me If You Can (The True Story of a Real Fake)

Author(s): Frank Abagnale and Stan Redding

Rating: 4.5/5

Reading Time: 14 Minutes

Categories: Book Summaries

Author Bio

Frank Abagnale is the author of the thrilling novel Catch Me If You Can.

He's a man who needs no introduction when it comes to fraud and hustling.

After committing white-collar crime in his teenage years, he went on to become a professional consultant and lecturer at the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Financial Crimes Unit.

That's right: somebody whose life was once associated with deceit and trickery, now provides important advice for preventing financial felony!

The Incredible Story Of Con Artist Frank Abagnale: How He Pulled The Wool Over Everyone’S Eyes For Years

Frank Abagnale

Are you ready to step into the thrilling and dangerous life of a world-class con man? That’s exactly what Frank Abagnale did in the 1960s.

He was determined to travel the world for free, becoming a pilot without having to go through all of the years of study and training.

And he wanted lots of cash from swindling banks and pretending to have degrees that he didn’t have.

Through sections like this, you can learn about how it is possible for someone with these skills to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes, living an incredible life as one of the most successful con artists ever.

This includes stories like how his journey began with just a gas card, how he used fabricated documents to pass himself off as a colonel in the US Air Force, or when he even posed as a doctor!

You’ll also learn about how ultimately law enforcement were able to catch up with him after being on the run for years.

Reading Catch Me If You Can will give you an insight into this wild adventure which will leave you inspired and drawn in by his dangerous lifestyle.

When His Father’S Business Fails, A Teenager Sets Off On His Own Escapades To Make Ends Meet

Frank Abagnale Jr.

had a rather typical, even affluent, upbringing until his taste for women got the better of him.

Being born into an affluent family in Bronxville, New York with a father who ran a stationery store in New York City meant Frank was financially secure and led a happy early childhood.

But things changed drastically when he hit teenage years.

With his dad buying him an old Ford as his 15th birthday present, girls were now noticing Frank more than ever and the spark that ignited what became Frank’s lifelong criminal instincts was lit.

Being unable to meet the expense of his newfound taste for the opposite sex with just part-time warehouse clerk wages, upon request of money from his trusting dad he received a credit card but with the agreement of having to pay it off himself mostly.

It was then that Frank discovered he could buy services on the card and use them to earn cash illegally instead; accumulating $3,400 over three months as a result of these nefarious scams.

How A 16-Year-Old Runaway Faked His Way To Becoming An Airline Pilot

When Frank was 16 years old, he knew that his career options were limited.

But instead of letting that hinder him from getting what he desired – a combination of luxury and adventure – he dreamed up schemes to fund his lifestyle.

He had $200 in his checking account, so he set off for New York City to make some money.

Sadly, his lack of education made it difficult to get high-paying jobs.

But Frank soon realized that there were other ways to generate income and, not surprisingly, one of these was cashing phony checks.

His taste for women also drove his criminal plans.

To attract their attention Frank asked himself: Which profession is high-earning and irresistible to the ladies? He decided throwing on a pilot’s uniform would be just the thing.

It was perfect because no one would suspect a highly paid professional like a pilot of being involved in anything illegal or underhanded.

Furthermore, if you’re a pilot you can fly virtually anywhere for free – ideal for someone who needs to evade the law as Frank did with his swindling projects!

The Secret To Frank Abagnale’S Cunning Con: Insider Knowledge And Lax Security


Frank Abagnale’s con game was enabled by two things: lax regulations and his own remarkable observational skills.

In the 1960s, airport policies were far less secure than they are today and that allowed him to board numerous flights as a “deadhead” pretending to be a Pan American Airways pilot.

He used this opportunity to stay at hotels of airline staff with no consequences for sending the bill to his “employer.”

Aside from taking advantage of the weak airport security, Frank also used a talent for observation and creativity to actively play along with his story.

He kept detailed notes of industry-insider phrases, technical data, contacts he met, phone numbers and other important information that he could call upon quickly should he need it while making sure that he remained in the clear.

It was this combination of lax regulations and quick wit that kept his game going for so long – needless to say it wouldn’t be so easy nowadays!

Frank Abel Could Have Lived An Unassuming Life, But Instead Chose To Take On Multiple Personalities And Engage In Countless Cons

Frank Abel

Frank Abagnale, protagonist of the book Catch Me If You Can, was a master con artist who managed to fake being not just a pilot but also a lawyer, a professor and even a doctor.

In Georgia, for example: He posed as a hospital doctor after filling out an application for an apartment stating that he was in that profession.

A nosy neighbor who happened to be a doctor found out about this and wanted to befriend Frank which forced him to go with it.

The neighbor asked him if he would take on the position of temporary shift supervisor at the hospital while management looked for someone permanent and Frank agreed.

He got away with barely doing anything there by taking advantage of all the eager interns wanting real experience during emergencies!

Later on Frank faked being both a lawyer and a professor when applying to be one in Utah.

With his fraudulent transcripts and letters of recommendation he landed himself the role and was adored by his students due to his engaging experiences as well as reading one chapter ahead of time when lecturing them on societal problems and crimes.

It wasn’t until people kept pressing him about his time at Harvard that the act ended in Louisiana when he was working in the State Attorney General’s office.

The Life Of A Con Artist And Fugitive Comes To An Unexpected End In The Fbi Training Room

After spending his teens and early twenties living a life of luxury, thanks to his con artist ways, Frank Abagnale suddenly found himself facing justice.

Despite constantly changing his name and location to stay one step ahead of law enforcement all over the world, he was finally caught in a small southern French city.

He was sent to prison in Perpignan where he faced horrific living conditions: a tiny cell with no bed, and just bread and water for sustenance.

That single year behind bars would prove to be the beginning of the end of his wild adventures as he was then extradited to Sweden and once more, eventually, back to the United States where he’d face charges at home.

Though Frank spent years in court trying to pay off hefty fines and perform community services, the greatest punishment ended up being his difficulty finding gainful employment due to his criminal record.

However, instead of returning to a life of crime or conning people again, Frank approached banks and taught them how to detect false checks – a skill that earned him a reputation as an expert in white-collar crime detection.

Wrap Up

Catch Me If You Can” is an extraordinary story about the life of Frank Abagnale, one of the most successful con artists in history.

Over the course of several years, he was able to successfully deceive people by assuming different identities as a pilot, doctor and lawyer.

However, eventually his luck ran out and he was caught and locked up.

In the end, after being reformed, he has dedicated his days to training FBI employees on how to spot con artists like himself.

The ultimate lesson in this book is that no matter how clever or skilled you are in deception, ultimately your lies will be found out and you will have to face the consequences.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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