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
"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
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
We thought long and hard before recommending this book on BookBrowse, on the one hand someone could use it to learn techniques for scamming others (but then again most of these techniques are likely to be available on any number of websites accessible to those who wish to learn them). On the other hand this book has the potential to educate the rest of us on how to better protect ourselves.
Abagnale offers hundreds of tips on how to protect yourself against fraud. For example pens that supposedly test for forged notes are worse than useless because they simply test the Ph balance of the paper - and there are dozens of readily available papers that have a similar Ph balance to bank notes - and if they don't, a quick wipe with bleach will ensure that they do! Such pens are worse than useless because they give one a false sense of security - much better to be able to recognize the distinguishing characteristics of the different notes themselves. The Art of the Steal explains how to do this in detail with accompanying illustrations.
Abagnale constantly emphasizes the importance of protecting yourself and, if you have one, your business. In support of this he cites surveys that show that 10% of people will be honest whatever, 10% dishonest whatever, and 80% dishonest if an opportunity presents itself. In other words with 90% of people ready to take advantage of 'the system' if the opportunity presents itself it's the responsibility of individuals to take care of themselves and companies to ensure that they have best practices in place.
For example, the accounts department should have one person set up supplier accounts and another write the checks for the obvious reason that otherwise it is possible for a person to set up a false account and write checks to themselves. This may sound a little obvious, but Abagnale cites multiple examples of people who've done just that and got away with it for years. Possibly the simplest protection against office fraud is to insist that all employees take at least one week of vacation each year - it's difficult to maintain a complex scam if one isn't in the office regularly to maintain it!
This detailed and well-written book describes many
types of scams, including those involving forged checks, stolen mail, and phony credit cards. After discussing each scam, the author advises on how to avoid it and offers photos to illustrate his points.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
5/5 a really nice book
Rated of 5
Abagnale is a genius! Listen to what he has to say. If I could rate it a ten, I would.
Rated of 5
Amazing ! I love this book !
Rated of 5
What Frank pulled off is amazing. Awesome book. It will blow your mind away.
Rated of 5
by TOM C
Great Book! A must read. Its un put downable. Just loved it. See the movie too.
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