Fraud expert Frank Abagnale, whose scamming was depicted in the movie “Catch Me If You Can,” is coming to Maine Thursday to share advice on avoiding fraud. His talk in Portland Thursday night is booked, but he can be heard on Maine Public Radio’s “Maine Calling” from 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday.
PORTLAND — Scam expert Frank W. Abagnale, who was made famous in the movie “Catch Me If You Can” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is coming to Maine on Thursday to talk about how consumers can protect themselves from identify theft and fraud.
His visit is part of AARP Maine’s Fraud Watch Network, AARP Maine spokeswoman Jane Margesson said.
Abagnale will speak at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Hannaford Hall in the University of Southern Maine’s Abromson Center, 88 Bedford St., Portland.
“Interest in him has been phenomenal,” Margesson said Tuesday. “We have people coming from all over. Members of law enforcement, state agencies, residents, students.” The hall holds an audience of 512 and it is booked, she said.
Because of the interest, AARP Maine is considering an overflow room where people can watch on a screen. Anyone interested in attending the overflow room should email AARP at firstname.lastname@example.org, Margesson said.
Abagnale will also appear on “Maine Calling” from 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday, a Maine Public Radio show on station 90.1 FM. He will appear on the show alongside Maine Attorney General Janet Mills.
When Abagnale was between the ages of 16 to 21, he committed forgery by cashing many fraudulent checks, and posed as an airline pilot, attorney and doctor. He was eventually caught in France and served time in prison. After his release, Abagnale began working with the FBI to help fight fraud.
Since then he’s spent more than four decades working with the FBI, giving lectures at the FBI Academy. He has testified to Congress about Social Security and other fraud, has written books and is considered one of world’s most respected authorities on identify theft, forgery, embezzlement and secure documents.