Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Two days in a RO!

If you have visited my blog for awhile, you have seen some of the gifts my friend RO has sent me.  Imagine my surprise when right after I sent her some washi tape and before there was any chance she could have received it, I received the card on the right and the leaves.

The very next day Bleubeard and I received this beautiful Breast Cancer Awareness scarf and the Halloween card.

I have never seen a two ounce postage stamp before, so I suspect it will find its way into my art at some point.  Although I don't have a blinky like how RO thanked me, I am no less grateful.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart, dear sweet RO!

A week or so ago, my foodie friend Sally asked me to go with her to see Frank Abagnale.  Some of you may have seen the story that was produced and directed by Steven Spielberg that starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.  Although the film loosely follows Abagnale's life, it takes certain liberties that Abignale explained. 

When Frank Jr. was 15, he was brought to court and told he had to choose between living with either his mother or his father.  He chose to live with his father, who often let him tag along on business calls.  That's when he learned about white collar dealings.

His father set him up with a checking account when he was still 15.  He began working a gas card scheme, in which he used his father's card.  When his dad got the bill, he of course, couldn't pay it.  His mother intervened and sent Frank Jr. to a school for wayward children.  It didn't take him long until he found a way to leave there.  By 16, he was on his own.

Because he was so tall, he altered his driver's license that showed him to be 26, rather than 16.  He thought he could get better jobs that way.  He still barely made ends meet, so he quit working and started writing checks to support himself.  Although his bank account was now empty, he still wrote hundreds of checks on that account, anyway.

He thought if he could command better respect, he could cash more checks.  That's when decided to impersonate a pilot and schemed his way into getting a pilot's uniform. He called Pan American Airlines' headquarters and told them that he had lost his uniform while traveling. Pan Am told him where to pick up a new one, which he did, then charged it to the company using a fake employee I.D.

Next, he pretended to be a high school student doing a report on Pan Am pilots.  From this information, he made his own fake F.A.A. license and pilot's I.D..  He would hitch rides all over the world pretending to be a pilot getting back home or to his next destination (known as deadheading).  He also got to stay at hotels and get free food because of his pilot status.  He told us he never flew on Pan Am because someone might recognize him or see through his lies.

After traveling over a million miles through 26 countries, Pan Am finally got wise.  That's when he disappeared and went to Georgia, where he impersonated a doctor.

He also had as many as eight different "professions" before he was 21.  When he finally decided to settle in France, he was 21 and wanted to live a straight life.  However, a former girlfriend saw his wanted poster and turned him in to the French police.  He served six months in a French prison, six months in a Swedish prison, then was sent to the U.S. to serve 10 years.  However, after serving four years, the FBI invited him to work in their fraud unit, where he still works to this day.  Unlike the movie, once he left home at 16, he never saw his father again.

He then gave us tips on how we can be safer with our lives and our choices.  One thing he suggested was, we should be very, very careful about what we share on social media, especially Facebook and Twitter.  He told us to never use our real name or addresses (I seem to be bad about my address, since you can see the house number when I show the front of my house and I often advertise the city and state I live in) unless we were big names in our profession.  He thought selfies could be the biggest threat in the future because good hackers have facial recognition software that can be used to create debit and credit cards and other cards that require a facial I.D..  He also talked about phone and other scams and how to avoid them.  It was a fascinating speech and if you get a chance to read his story AND his tips of being safe (especially on the internet), visit his web site that I highlighted above.

Thanks for joining me today and thanks for reading through to the end of this fascinating man's story.  And thanks to RO, too.

17 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

Lovely gifts from Ro, enjoy! Sounds like a fascinating and informative talk you heard. Have a nice day, Valerie

My name is Erika. said...

I always wondered what happened to him. I saw the film and enjoyed it so it must have a very fascinating talk. And even though he served some jail time it sounds like life worked out for him and there was a bigger plan than being an inmate. Thank for sharing. :) Happy Wednesday. Hugs-Erika

froebelsternchen said...

What an interesting talk! Sounds like a very special life - will visit his website!
Fantastic happy mail from the lovely RO!

Happy Wednesday dear Co.-Admin!
Lots of LOVE from

pearshapedcrafting said...

What lovely gifts from RO! The story of Frank Abagnale is fascinating and it must have been great to listen to! I remember the film but wasn't sure how true to life it was! ! As you can see I am here for a catch up before dashing off again!! Hugs, Chrisx

Sami said...

Lovely gifts from RO, lucky you Elizabeth!
That would have been a fascinating talk to listen to. I remember watching "Catch me if you can" not long ago when they had a re-run on tv, and I always find it funny.
Frank certainly was good at being bad :) so I'm glad he put his knowledge to good use. I'm very much against selfies, I find those people too narcissistic.

Divers and Sundry said...

Fraud and crime have always been with us, and I find it interesting when crooks are able to turn their past lifestyles into yet another money-maker. He's got this down to a science, doesn't he lol

RO said...

There's nothing better in the world than seeing your name in lights(lol), so I'm thrilled. Somehow you and I had a mind meld and were thinking of each other around the same time, which is very cool and fun. I'm so happy you liked the two things, and I'm over the top happy about decorating my Planner for January in black, white and silver! It will scream elegance! You know I love my pop culture, so I've seen Catch Me If You Can about 6 or 7 times because it was such a fascinating story. I was really happy that the FBI took him and gave him a job that has kept him out of prison forever more. I would have loved to have met him in person, and glad you shared the updated info. Happy Wednesday and Hugs! RO p.s. - your pictures always look so clear and perfect!

sheila 77 said...

What a man! Interesting tips on how to stay safe, especially as some bloggers are including their name and address on their blog because of the recent Privacy changes. My teddies never reveal their real names, they have Internet names. Is Bleubeard worried?

Caty said...

So beautiful gifts from your friend Elizabeth !! they are all lovely. I have sawn that film, interesting of course.
i wish you a very nice afternoon, big hugs, Caty

da tabbies o trout towne said...


a very nice collection of gifts and thanx for sharing about your experience seeing mr abagnale. I will look into reading his story;
it does indeed sound fascinating !!

hi to bleu and squiggles from da tabbies =^..*= ♥♥

Meggymay said...

Enjoy using your happy mail Elizabeth, they are lovely gifts.
I have to say I have never seen the film, but I really enjoyed reading your post about Frank Abagnale. What a story and life he has lead.
It sounds like he is giving something back to society now and found his place in life to advise others.
Yvonne xx

CJ Kennedy said...

Such lovely goodies. I've seen the movie Catch Me If You Can. Mr. Abignale's talk must have been fascinating.

Sandra Cox said...

What a fascinating man and what a lovely gift from Ro:)

Rita said...

I saw that movie and was amazed at what this guy got away with--and here you guys met him in person! Wow! :)

aussie aNNie said...

Interesting post as always. Lovely gifts from your friend RO..xx

Marfi-topia said...

wow, what an interesting person!!what a exciting life he led....

I don't think I've ever seen your house numbers anywhere..although it would probably benefit me because you won an artcard from my blog party and I need your address, please! Lol

Jackie P Neal said...

Lovely gifts from Ro! What a sweet friend!
As for Frank, well, regardless of the time served and what he is doing now, the guy is a thief,and defrauded and who knows how much destruction he did to others lives by what he did.
Interesting yes, but none the less, a criminal.
Jackie xo