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Catch Me If You Can summary

Frank Abagnale and Stan Redding

The True Story of a Real Fake

4.6 (75 ratings)
14 mins

Brief summary

Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale and Stan Redding is a thrilling true story of a young con man who successfully impersonated various professionals and evaded the law.
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    Catch Me If You Can
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    Frank Abagnale’s early life was innocent until his taste for women ignited his criminal instincts.

    In 1948, Frank W. Abagnale Jr. was born in Bronxville, New York, to an affluent family. His father ran a stationery store in New York City, so the family was financially secure, and Frank’s early childhood was happy.

    But things started to unravel when Frank became a teenager.

    Frank’s father bought him an old Ford when the boy was 15 – a dream come true for any teenaged boy.

    Naturally, girls started noticing Frank because of his car, striking the spark that ignited what became Frank’s lifelong avocation – chasing after beautiful women.

    Working as a part-time warehouse clerk, however, didn’t provide the kind of income Frank needed for gas and to take girls out to dinner. So he did what many a teenager would do – he asked Dad for a credit card to cover car expenses.

    His trusting father gave Frank his personal Mobil card, but told him that, while he would help him out within reason, most of the burden of paying off the debt on the card would be Frank’s responsibility.

    Frank intended to be honest and do the responsible thing, until he discovered that he could charge things other than gas to the card. He could purchase a new set of tires, for example, or pay for other services. That discovery led Frank to scheme his way into “earning” $3,400 over three months in a series of scams.

    How did he do this? Frank would charge a service on the card, but instead of buying tires or new windshield wipers, he’d convince the gas station attendant to hand over the value of the purchase in cash instead.

    When his father ultimately received the bill and Frank’s schemes came to light, his mother sent him away to a boys’ reform school.

    By the time Frank returned home, the family’s fortunes had suffered a tragic reversal. His father had lost his business and was now working as a postal clerk. Though Frank’s father seemed content in his new job, it was a blow to Frank to see his family’s fortunes destroyed.

    So at the age of 16, Frank ran away from home to set off on his own.

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    What is Catch Me If You Can about?

    Frank Abagnale’s story of swindling millions of dollars from unwitting victims while posing as a pilot, lawyer and professor is the stuff of legend. In Catch Me If You Can (1980), he tells his tale.

    Catch Me If You Can Review

    Catch Me If You Can (1980) is a fascinating true story of deception and evasion that will keep you hooked. Here's why you should read it:

    • It offers a rare glimpse into the life of a master con artist and the methods he used to deceive others.
    • The book is filled with intriguing, suspenseful moments as Frank Abagnale constantly outwits authorities.
    • It provides valuable insights into the world of fraud prevention and the importance of trust.

    Dive into the captivating world of Frank Abagnale's cons by reading Catch Me If You Can.

    Who should read Catch Me If You Can?

    • True-crime nerds
    • Bank tellers or airline industry workers
    • Fans of the movie adaptation of this thrilling story

    About the Author

    Frank Abagnale, known as a former confidence trickster, is now a professional consultant and lecturer at the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Financial Crimes Unit.

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    Catch Me If You Can FAQs 

    What is the main message of Catch Me If You Can?

    The main message of Catch Me If You Can is to showcase the intriguing and suspenseful life of a master con artist and his evasive tactics.

    How long does it take to read Catch Me If You Can?

    The estimated reading time for Catch Me If You Can is 7-9 hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in about 15 minutes.

    Is Catch Me If You Can a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Catch Me If You Can is a captivating and thrilling true story that provides valuable insights into deception and fraud prevention.

    Who is the author of Catch Me If You Can?

    The authors of Catch Me If You Can are Frank Abagnale and Stan Redding.

    How many chapters are in Catch Me If You Can?

    There are 10 chapters in Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale and Stan Redding.

    1. The Fledgling
    2. The Pilot
    3. The Doctor
    4. The Lawyer
    5. The Teacher
    6. The Writer
    7. The Prisoner
    8. The Escape
    9. The Capture
    10. The Redemption

    How many pages are in Catch Me If You Can?

    There are 293 pages in Catch Me If You Can.

    When was Catch Me If You Can published?

    Catch Me If You Can was published in 1980.

    What to read after Catch Me If You Can?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Catch Me If You Can, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Slow Productivity by Cal Newport
    • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
    • Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott
    • Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell