The incredible criminal mind

The 2002 film ‘Catch Me If You Can’ is one of the hit films of the early noughties. It stars Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio under the direction of Steven Speilberg. It’s an exhilarating story based on the real-life experiences of Frank Abagnale Jnr. Abagnale is one of the most prolific and devious criminals ever to grace the FBI’s most-wanted list. He is a fraudster and would certainly not have passed any AML ID VERIFICATION checks, like those from W2 Global in the modern era. As this is in the 1960s things were very different.

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Frank Jnr had a good teacher, Frank Abagnale Snr, his father. His Dad would scam on a small scale. However, the IRS is on to Frank Snr and the family has to move to a smaller place. Humbled by the turn of events, Frank Jnr then discovers his mum is having an affair. He runs away and starts the first of his many cons.

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Releasing that he can get free rides on any PAN AM flight by pretending to be a pilot, Frank Jnr soon expands the idea. He soaks the decals from model planes so that he can make fake PAN AM security badges. He then enrolls himself on the payroll.

Over the course of the many years before his capture, he is able to impersonate a secret agent and a Doctor and even escaped the law by walking into an airport; the law was staking out with 8 fake PAN AM stewardesses. They were students who he’d convinced were on a training program.

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