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Frank W. Abagnale

Don’t be a Victim - Identifying and Avoiding Fraud
Consumer complaints are received every day from victims who clicked an email link or paid upfront for a product or service only to be conned out of... More
Financial Scams: How to Help Protect Yourself
When you receive email or phone calls, use social networking sites (e.g. Facebook), shop online or surf the Internet, you should be very cautious of scams that try to steal your personal information (identity theft), your money, or both. More
Identity Theft is on the Rise
Identity theft has grown exponentially over the past few years, spurred by the financial rewards, the relative ease of committing the crime, and the low probability of being caught. More
Frank W. Abagnale’s Fraud Prevention Quiz: Are You at Risk?
Frank W. Abagnale
Frank W. Abagnale’s Fraud Prevention Quiz: Are You at Risk?

Frank W. Abagnale, the fraud-prevention specialist and security consultant whose life story was the inspiration for the film, "Catch Me If You Can," has created the quiz below. Gauge your preparedness by placing a check mark next to those that apply to you.

I DO have both anti-virus and firewall protection on my computer.

I DO NOT share my vacation or personal plans with “friends” on social networking sites.

I DO use a micro-precision shredder on all of my financial documents before disposing of them.

I DO NOT carry my Social Security card in my wallet.

I DO NOT write my Social Security number on my checks.

I DO shred all pre-approved “credit offers” I receive via mail before throwing them out.

I DO check the validity of site certificates when sending sensitive information over the Internet.

I DO NOT leave my mail for pickup in an unlocked location.

I DO check my credit report at least once every three months.

I DO NOT show my full birthdate on social networking sites.

I DO NOT give out my Social Security number to anyone who asks for it.

I DO cover the keypad when making transactions at an ATM.

I DO NOT keep personal information (e.g. Social Security number, financial account numbers, etc.) on a computer that is connected to the Internet.

I DO check my computer weekly for security updates and/or use automatic updates.

How many of the above statements did you check? According to Frank Abagnale, the fewer check marks you placed above, the more vulnerable you are to identity theft.

Frank W. Abagnale is one of the world's most respected authorities on forgery, embezzlement and secure documents. For over 35 years he has worked with, advised and consulted with hundreds of financial institutions, corporations and government agencies around the world. His biography and information on his company and services are available at

The views of the authors of these articles do not necessarily represent the views of First Republic Bank.

Karie Purcell
Good questions. I am covered, but I know a few people I will be sending this to!!

Suzanne Stassevitch
I am not sure I know how to check the validity of site certificates. As to storing personal information; with bill paying, banking etc all online, it seems like there is sensitive information everywhere. I limit transactions to a computer that is wired, not wireless.

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