True or False With Frank Abagnale
A bonus podcast episode featuring one of AARP's fraud experts
We’ll be back with new episodes in November. In the meantime, enjoy this bonus episode featuring The Perfect Scam show producers as they test their fraud-busting knowledge in a game of True or False, with questions from host Frank Abagnale’s new book, Scam Me If You Can.
TIPS: If you think you’ve been a victim of a scam or would like to report fraud call The Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 877-908-3360. Anyone can become the victim of a scam, it’s important to be vigilant and know your vulnerabilities. For instance, if you are looking for a job you are more vulnerable to a work-at-home scam.
[00:00:01] Will: Welcome to this special bonus episode of AARP - The Perfect Scam. We'll tell you what's going to happen here. I'm back with AARP's Fraud Watch Network Ambassador, Frank Abagnale. Frank, thanks for joining us for the bonus episode.
[00:00:11] Frank Abagnale: Thanks, Will.
[00:00:13] Will: Also, uh Perfect Scam Producers, Brook Ellis and Julie Getz are here.
[00:00:16] Julie: Hi.
[00:00:17] Brook: Hello.
[00:00:17] Will: Good to have you back.
[00:00:19] Brook: Thank you.
[00:00:19] Will: And Frank, you, you have a book out. We mentioned it early on uh a, a few episodes back, but again, tell us about the book.
[00:00:25] Frank Abagnale: Scam Me If You Can is a book where we basically look at every type of scam that's been conceived and done, how they're done, what's the red flags to look out for, and not only crimes against seniors, but crimes against Millennials, crimes against people in the stock market, investment bankers, shareholders; it's a great deal of good information.
[00:00:46] Will: Scam Me If You Can. available now if you're listening to this bonus episode. And Julie and Brook are going to play a fun game, right, with Frank's help?
[00:00:53] Yes. We are, yes.
[00:00:54] Will: And put, put Brook and I on the spot. So Julie, tell us what we're doing.
[00:00:57] Julie: If I can ask you and Brook six true or false questions lifted straight from...
[00:01:04] Will: Scam Me If You Can.
[00:01:05] Julie: Scam Me If You Can.
[00:01:07] Will: All right. So we, we're going to answer it and see if we get it right, and then we'll see what Frank has to say about...
[00:01:11] Julie: Absolutely.
[00:01:12] Will: Ready.
[00:01:13] Julie: Okay... (clears throat)
[00:01:13] Will: Am I doing the first one or is Brook?... I'll do it.
[00:01:16] Julie: Okay. Will, this first question’s for you. True or false, long complex passwords are one of the best ways to secure accounts online.
[00:01:27] Will: True.
[00:01:28] Julie: Frank, what is the answer?
[00:01:29] Frank Abagnale: False.
[00:01:32] Julie: Tell us why, Frank.
[00:01:33] Will: Come on.
[00:01:34] Frank Abagnale: The best way to secure uh is no password at all. Passwords are a 1964 technology.
[00:01:41] Will: That's what I was going to say.
[00:01:42] Frank Abagnale: Developed when I was actually 16 years old, before I did any of the things I did. And here at 71, we're still using passwords. So we absolutely have to get rid of passwords. They're the reason for ransomware, malware, and all the problems we have today. So just adding longer names and longer numbers, just makes it more confusing for people and doesn't really do anything to stop someone from hacking into your account.
[00:02:06] Will: So what do we do if we're not using passwords?
[00:02:08] Frank Abagnale: We, we are on the move in the next two or three years to eliminate passwords completely, and I think that's the right road to go to uh today. If you do use, in the meantime, passwords, obviously use a little common sense. You never want to use your password on Amazon to be your password on your bank account. Uh, so don't use the same password on every single thing you do because it's easy for you to remember it. That allows people then to simply if I can hack into Amazon, get your password, then I can hack into your bank account and everything else that you have.
[00:02:39] Will: All right, so zero for Will. Brook, this next one is for you, right?
[00:02:44] Julie: Okay, Brook, you ready? Okay. Brook, true or false, sharing vacation photos on social media while you're away is a great way to keep family and friends up to date on your adventures.
[00:02:56] Will: Oh, I know this one.
[00:02:57] Brook: False.
[00:02:59] Frank Abagnale: Brook is correct. False. You don't want to tell people that you're away from your property because then you're just telling them to come rob me at my house. You know, it's kind of like saying, hey, I left my car at this address with the key in it, uh, and obviously, not expect someone to come and steal your car. So, the less information you give people, the better. People don't need to know exactly when you're going. You might say I'm making a trip to Italy with the family. You don't have to tell them exactly when you're leaving and exactly when you’re coming back. Uh, too much information is not good.
[00:03:33] Will: Don't you just want to share sometimes, Frank, that you're like on a beach in France with everyone you know?
[00:03:38] Frank Abagnale: After the fact.
[00:03:40] Will: Gotcha.
[00:03:41] Julie: Okay, Will, are you ready?
[00:03:43] Will: Ready.
[00:03:44] Julie: Medical identity theft is a serious issue only for people on Medicare.
[00:03:49] Will: False.
[00:03:50] Frank Abagnale: You're absolutely right. False is the correct answer. Medical ID theft is becoming very popular. It's in as simple as me being in say Washington DC and break my leg. I have no insurance. So I go down to a clinic or a hospital and I give them your name, your Social Security number, your date of birth. They treat me and eventually your insurance company contacts you to tell you that they paid the claim or there was a deductible owed or the hospital was owed a remainder amount of money, and you go, whoa, I was never in Washington DC, I never broke my leg. So there are a lot of people who are victimized by medical identity theft and say that it's not that easy to just correct. You have collection agencies calling you, hospitals hounding you for money. So yes, medical identity theft is an issue.
[00:04:33] Will: Man, so okay, Will-2, Brook-1. But we are on the second round and you need your question.
[00:04:38] Brook: Okay.
[00:04:38] Will: Please proceed, Julie.
[00:04:39] Julie: Okay, Brook. True or false; banks never send their customers emails that ask them to click on a link wanting them to verify their information.
[00:04:48] Brook: True.
[00:04:49] Will: Oooh...
[00:04:51] Frank Abagnale: True. Banks uh don't s--, solicit. They will never take and solicit information over the telephone or email. They will simply contact you and uh have you contact them to get that information. They're not going to ask you security questions where they call you or they send you an email asking you those questions.
[00:05:11] Julie: Good. Um, okay, so Will, true or false; the IRS...
[00:05:16] Will: Yes.
[00:05:17] Julie: ...will call you about back taxes you may owe without sending you written notice first.
[00:05:21] Will: False.
[00:05:22] Julie: Frank?
[00:05:22] Frank Abagnale: The IRS does send you written notice first before they would contact you by telephone.
[00:05:28] Julie: Right, so the answer's false. The IRS will always send written notices before calling you.
[00:05:33] Will: All right. Brook. Wait was that my last que--...
[00:05:35] Julie: That was your last question.
[00:05:36] Will: So I have 2...
[00:05:37] Julie: You have 3, oh no, you have 2.
[00:05:39] Brook: You have 2, yeah.
[00:05:40] Will: Brook has 2, but she has one question remaining. So this could be, this'll be a tiebreaker.
[00:05:43] Brook: Okay.
[00:05:44] Julie: Okay, this a tiebreaker question. Brook...
[00:05:47] Brook: Okay.
[00:05:48] Julie: True or false; always wait at least 24 hours before making any important financial decision.
[00:05:55] Brook: Yeah, definitely true. I, yeah.
[00:05:57] Will: I like that.
[00:05:58] Brook: I feel like that's something, like my Mom would tell me. Yeah, I think that...
[00:06:01] Will: Sleep on it in other words.
[00:06:02] Brook and Julie: Yeah.
[00:06:03] Frank Abagnale: Yes, true and Brook wins. Absolutely.
[00:06:08] Frank Abagnale: Absolutely always wait 24 hours before making a decision of any financial where you're putting out money.
[00:06:14] Will: Wow, okay. So straight from the book, Scam Me If You Can, a, a reminder you can find that book now and one way AARP members can look into the book is going to AARP.org/ScamMeIfYouCan. Members get to read a chapter for free. Find out more about that there.
[00:06:31] Will: All right, thanks to all of you for being here for this bonus episode of AARP - The Perfect Scam with Frank Abagnale. Julie, Brook, appreciate it.
[00:06:39] Julie: Thanks for having us.
[00:06:40] Brook: Thanks.
[00:06:40] Will: And, of course, to Frank Abagnale, thanks for being here. We look forward to talking to you again soon.
[00:06:44] Frank Abagnale: Thank you, Will. It's great.
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