by Frank Abagnale Jr.
Available through
Barnes & Noble
A true story about Frank
Abagnale Jr. who, before his
19th birthday, successfully
conned millions of dollars
worth of checks as a Pan Am
pilot, doctor, and legal

Director: Steven Spielberg
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Top Ten Imposters
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Quiz #301 Results
Answers to Quiz #301
April 17, 2011
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1.  Frank Abagnale, Jr.
2. He was in prison.
3. He has a security firm, Abignale and Associates.

PS  He wrote an autobiography,
Catch Me If You Can
that was made into a movie by the same name
starring Leonardo de Caprio.

1.  Who is the man standing in the center of the photo?
2.  Why did he spend a few months in France in 1969?
2.  What does he do now?

here only if you need a hint.
Comments from Our Readers
Got this one with lightning speed--took a guess that the set was "To Tell the Truth".
Knew Frank's story well, being both a fan of the movie and steeped in the world of
Broadway musicals. Forgotten that he'd been on the show, however.        
Joe Ruffner

I saw the movie it was a great flik. I did not have to use Tin eye cause I recognized the
set of "To Tell The Truth". Just looked for images and found it.                   
Jim Kiser

Actually, I read the book about him when it was first published years ago and
recognized the photo (taken when he appeared on "What's my Line" after completing
his time in French and Swedish slammers and being extradited back to the United States.

Before Frank, the Federal Reserve sent cleared checks using first class mail or parcel
post. This gave Frank weeks of delays until his fake checks bounced - by then he was
in another city or country.

Frank's escapades led to the creation of the FBI's "National Crime Information System".

Who says that identity theft is a new crime?                                        
George Wright

i recognized To Tell the Truth immediately. guy in the middle had to be either an airline
person or military someothing. #2 question made me look for To Tell the Truth in 1969.
His name immediately stood out - because of the movie.                     
Debbie Johnson

This one I knew right from the first look, I am actually going to see the Broadway
musical production of "Catch Me If You Can" at the Neil Simon Theater on 01 May
with my bride, for our 20th wedding anniversary. I loved the film and I hope the play is
just as good. All I have to say about him is [based on my professional and occupational
assessment]: Thank God that computers, IT, on-line financial banking and the Internet
did not exist when he was "operating"; He may have been able to singlehandedly take
down whole nations with his attitude, skills, a smart phone, a laser printer, and a laptop
Robert W. Steinmann Jr.

From the posts recently one might start believing that crime pays. It is all very
          Cynthia Costigan

I got lucky: I googled 'to tell the truth pilot, 'Frank Abagnale - Wikipedia' was the fourth
hit. The blurb 'Abagnale stated that although he was often invited by actual pilots to take
the .... In 1977, Abagnale appeared on the TV quiz show To Tell the Truth, …' was
sufficiently intriguing that I read the whole article before remembering that I was trying
to solve a quiz!                                                                                   
Peter Norton

N.B.  That's one of the highest quiz-compliments I have ever been be so
interested in the story that you forgot you were solving a quiz. - Q. Gen.

This must be fraud year on your quiz.  I am seeing a definite theme in the last few

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Somehow I am having difficulty with the inequality of
prison sentencing in this country.  Abignale escaped twice, defrauded people, and put
people in danger (although he did seem to try to avoid doing so) and he gets out in less
than five years and becomes a millionaire.  I shouldn’t get started on this.  I am
involved in a prison ministry program in the federal women’s prison near where I live
and I see women sentenced to incredibly long sentences who have changed incredibly
in prison but appear to have little or no chance of being released  without serving their
entire sentence.                                                                           
Milene Rawlinson

Been crazy busy and missed a lot of quizzes but popped this one open today and said to
myself, "Hey, that's Frank Abagnale, Jr. on To Tell the Truth!'. I saw him speak
at a Treasury Management meeting in Chicago in the early '90's in his capacity as a
security consultant with Abagnale and Associates. He's also authored several books. In
1969 he was a guest of the French government, serving a prison sentence for fraud.

Frank is more famous now than when I saw him with the release of his autobiography,
Catch Me If You Can, and the film version where he was played by Leonardo DiCaprio.
Frank also played a cameo in the film as a French Policeman. He's quite an entertaining
and informative speaker so if you ever get a chance to see him, I highly recommend
attending. He had an amusing demonstration at the end of his talks to highlight how
things are not always what they seem. I won't give it away in case he still does it but
pay close attention to his silk pocket square.                                            
Patty Kiker

I waited a few days until I forgot the name I read on facebook and ran a Google search
on To Tell the Truth, doctor, pilot, convict, and got the answer.       
    Marilyn Hamill

I saw the show on 'What's My Line' and remembered him.                
Sherry Marshall

I googled game=show airline=pilot. the desired answers were found on the seventh
result. I checked out the 'tineye photo'. It belonged to a Russian language
photo website of pictures  in the category of heroes and trendsetters. Unable to
translate into English from my computer. I did find the contest photo by googling Frank
William Abagnale pictures.                                                           
Mike Dalton

N.B.  Mike, the site should have brought up the quiz photo alongside a
picture of Leonardo diCaprio playing the role of Frank Abagnale on To Tell the
Truth. You could have searched Leonardo's movies to figure out which one the
photo came from, and figured out who Frank was from that.  There are a lot of ways
to solve this puzzle.  It's a good one, even if I do say so myself.  - Q. Gen.

Is forgery a theme for this month?  lol  I have honestly never spent so much time
reading about forgeries.                                                                       
Nicole Blank

Congratulations to Our Winners!

Stephen Jolley                Stan Read                Don Draper
Sharon Taber                Linda Alexander Templer
Joe Ruffner                Ceil Wendt Jensen
Carol Farrant               Jim Kiser
George Wright                Bill Utterback
Fred Stuart                Suzan Farris                Diane Burkett
Debbie Johnson                Robert W. Steinmann Jr.
Sharon Mufferi                Cynthia Costigan
Gary Sterne                Margaret Paxton
Peter Norton                Patty Kiker                Daniel Jolley
JoLynn Pfeiffer                Carl Blessing
Kitty Huddleston                Eric McElroy
Roberta Martin                Dennis Brann
Marilyn Hamill                Sherry Marshall
Sherry Beauchamp                Debbie Was
Mike Dalton                Nicole Blank
Arthur Hartwell                Tish Olshefski
Betty Chambers                Jim Bullock                Donna Jolley
Catch Me the Musical
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN is the high-flying new musical comedy based on the hit
DreamWorks film and the incredible true story that inspired it!

Fast-rising Broadway headliner AARON TVEIT (
Next to Normal, Wicked) stars as
Frank W. Abagnale, Jr., a teenager who runs away from home in search of the
glamorous life. With nothing more than a boyish charm, a big imagination and millions
of dollars in forged checks, Frank successfully poses as a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer -
living the high life and winning the girl of his dreams (played by Tony® nominee Kerry
Butler (
Xanadu, Hairspray). Tony winner and Broadway fave Norbert Leo Butz (Dirty
Rotten Scoundrels, Wicked
) plays Carl Hanratty, the dogged FBI agent who chases
Frank to the end and finds something he never expected. And Tony nominee Tom
Wopat (
Annie Get Your Gun, Chicago) returns to Broadway as Frank, Sr., who sees
his dreams of making it big lived out in his son's fantastic adventures.

CATCH ME features a Tony Award-winning "dream team," with a book by Terrence
McNally (
The Full Monty, Ragtime), an irresistible score by Marc Shaiman & Scott
Wittman (
Hairspray), choreography by Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray, Legally Blonde) and
direction by Jack O'Brien (
Hairspray, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels).
Of all the impostors on this list, Frank
Abagnale may be the most well known —
his years spent as a check forger, con
man and faux airline pilot (don't worry, he
never actually flew) were the subject of
the 2002 film, Catch Me If You Can,
based on Abagnale's autobiography by the
same name.

Born in 1948, Abagnale proved to be a
wunderkind of a con man, posing as a pilot for Pan Am Airlines in order to bum free
flights at just 16 years old. When authorities wised up to his frequent flying, Abagnale
posed as a Georgia doctor for a year before masquerading as an attorney in New
Orleans, although this last role wasn't entirely fake — Abagnale did manage to pass the
bar exam.

He was finally captured in France in 1969, and served six months in a French prison
and six more in Sweden before being deported to the United States, where he was
sentenced an additional 12 years in the federal pen. Despite two attempts to escape,
Abagnale was paroled after five years, on the condition he'd help federal authorities
uncover check forgers. After failing to find legitimate work, he parlayed his unique skill
into a consulting career, advising banks and and businesses on how to avoid fraud. His
firm, Abagnale & Associates, has made the 61-year-old a millionaire by legitimate
means. Finally.
The key to solving this one was the recognition of the logo
of "To Tell The Truth". A Google search on "TV to tell the
truth" brought up the picture from the quiz.   
Jim Bullock
I can’t help but think his baby face (age 16 to 21) should have been a dead giveaway
that he wasn’t who he said he was when he was supposedly getting his “on the job

Yes he is clever.  He gets tax payers dollars as a consultant to the government, royalties
for the book(s), and payments for the movie rights and the rights to put on the play.  I’
d say he figured out the way to wealth early in life.  Where did I go wrong?
Carol Farrant

N.B.  We went wrong because we decided to be honest.  -Q. Gen.

He is now a millionaire.  Not a bad life.  I didn't see the movie, did you?
Marilyn Hamill

N.B.  Yes I saw the movie and I really liked it.  It was probably fictionalized in part -
fiction of the play is probably fictionlized fiction of fiction.  -Q. Gen.

I did not recognize  Mr. diCaprio in wig on site, much less being able to
translate with a wxp dialup; with slowly downloading translators and other tasks to do
at the forefront.

To tell the truth: I remember watching this game show in the past and remembered the
script followed.: "I am he, I am he and I am he --- questions for each ---  vote by panel:
I like his answers" will the real please stand up"  applause and then about a minute
interview with the real character.

In the photo, I first thought the character on the left was Soupy Sales and the one on
the right was Woody Allen and the one in center was Keenan Wynn - Captain
Kangeroo. As your contest mentioned what he is doing today that would eliminate
Wynn who is deceased.

Back to forensic analysis - the obvious: the uniform gets the attention of viewers and
the girls every time: pilot wings means airline pilot and four stripes means captain -- so
the obvious: game show 'to tell the truth' airline pilot captain.                   
Mike Dalton
Frank Abagnale Jr.
Abagnale and Associates
Frank W. Abagnale is one of the world's most respected
authorities on the subjects of forgery, embezzlement and
secure documents.  For over thirty years he has lectured to
and consulted with hundreds of financial institutions,
corporations and government agencies around the world.

Mr. Abagnale has been associated with the FBI for over 35
years.  He lectures extensively at the FBI Academy and for
the field offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  
More than 14,000 financial institutions, corporations and
law enforcement agencies use his fraud prevention
programs.  In 1998, he was selected as a distinguished
member of "Pinnacle 400" by CNN Financial News. Today
Mr. Abagnale is a member of the Board of Editors for Bank
Fraud and IT Security, as well as the Financial Fraud Law Report.

Today the majority of Mr. Abagnale's work is for the U. S. government. His company
does not sell products or provide services, with the exception of his public speaking
engagements, which are handled through Keppler Speakers
( in Washington, DC.

Mr. Abagnale neither grants media interviews nor comments on ongoing criminal

Mr. Abagnale believes that because punishment for fraud and recovery of stolen funds
are so rare, prevention is the only viable course of action.
The Ultimate Theft Prevention Plan

Before the age of 19, Frank Abagnale
had successfully conned millions of
dollars worth of checks while posing
as a Pan Am pilot, doctor and legal
prosecutor. It is his early life that has
been captured in his best-selling
memoir and 2002 blockbuster film
Catch Me If You Can. However, now
he has gone from fraud to a
fraud-fighting consultant.

When Abagnale trains law
enforcement officers around the
country about identity theft, he asks them for their names and
addresses and nothing more. In a matter of hours, he can obtain
everything he would need to steal their lives:

Social Security numbers, dates of birth, current salaries, checking
account numbers, the names of everyone in their families and more.
This exercise illustrates how easy it is for anyone from anywhere in
the world to assume your identity and, in a matter of hours, devastate
your life.

Considering that a fresh victim is hit every four seconds, this
summary offers important tips and techniques from an unsurpassed
authority on the latest identity theft schemes.

Abagnale offers dozens of concrete steps to transform anyone from
an easy mark into a hard case that criminals are likely to bypass.
Several anecdotes of creative criminality are included, which are as
entertaining as they are enlightening. This summary provides clear,
practical ways to protect yourself from one of today’s most common


• Who is at risk for identity theft.
• Why you should avoid offers that appeal to greed or fear in  
exchange for personal data.
• How to monitor your credit report regularly and know if anyone’s
been “knocking on your door.”
• How to identify the people stealing identities.
• Why you should read privacy statements carefully and choose to
opt out of sharing information whenever possible
Top Five of the Top Ten Impostors According to Time Magazine,28804,1900621_1900618_1900590,00.html
Frank William Abagnale, Jr. (born April 27, 1948) is an
American security consultant known for his history as a
former confidence trickster, check forger, impostor, and
escape artist. He became notorious in the 1960s for
passing $2.5 million worth of meticulously forged checks
across 26 countries over the course of five years,
beginning when he was 16 years old.

In the process, he claimed to have assumed no fewer than
eight separate identities, impersonating an airline pilot, a
doctor, a Bureau of Prisons agent, and a lawyer. He
escaped from police custody twice (once from a taxiing
airliner and once from a U.S. federal penitentiary), before
he was 21 years old.
Clark Rockefeller
He served less than five years in prison before starting to work for the federal
government. He is a consultant and lecturer at the academy and field offices for the
Federal Bureau of Investigation. He also runs Abagnale & Associates, a financial fraud
consultancy company.

Abagnale's life story provided the inspiration for the feature film Catch Me If You Can,
as well as the Broadway musical, which opened in April 2011, and ghostwritten
autobiography of the same name.

In 1977, Abagnale appeared on the TV quiz show To Tell the Truth, along with two
contestants also presenting themselves as him. A reenactment of this episode appeared
in Catch Me If You Can, featuring actor Leonardo DiCaprio in his place. This movie is
based on the semi-autobiographical book of the same name, written by Abagnale with
the help of Stan Redding. The real Abagnale makes a cameo appearance in this film as
one of the French police officers taking his character into custody.
David Hampton
Darius McCollum
Frank Abagnale Jr.
Ferdinand Demara
Ferdinand Demara
Young Frank Abagnale Jr. at 16
posing with a stewardess.

In the early 1990s, Abagnale was featured as a
recurring guest on the UK Channel 4 television
series Secret Cabaret. The show was based
around magic and illusions with a sinister, almost
gothic presentation style. Abagnale was featured
as an expert exposing various confidence tricks.

In 2007, Abagnale appeared in a short role as a
speaker in the BBC TV series The Real Hustle. He
spoke of different scams run by fraudsters.

Read more of this fascinating story. Click
Skywayman: The Story of Frank W. Abagnale Jr.
By Rachael Bell

1.  Ourunning the Law

2.  The Making of a Swindler

3.  Preparing for Takeoff

4.  Taking Flight

5.  Calling Dr. Williams, Calling Dr. Williams

6.  Practicing and Evading the Law

7.  Making the Grade

8.  Catching Up and Coming Clean

9.  Bibliography
Frank with FBI agents.