If my forgeries looked as bad as the CBS documents, it would have been 'Catch Me In Two Days'.
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Criminals look at identity theft and say only 1 in 700 criminals gets convicted of it. And they look at check forgery and they know that for every 1,400 forgers arrested, only about 123 get convicted and about 26 go to jail. So the rewards are great, but the risks are very slim. So that's one of the reasons that make it very popular.
Every case involving cybercrime that I've been involved in, I've never found a master criminal sitting somewhere in Russia or Hong Kong or Beijing. It always ends up that somebody at the company did something they weren't supposed to do. They read an email, went to a website they weren't supposed to.
I contend that there really are no more con men. There's no need for con men anymore. There's no need for the very sophisticated, suave guy, the well-dressed guy. Today, you steal with the computer from thousands of miles away - from China, from Libya, from Hong Kong. Your victim's never going to see you, so there's no need to be any of that.
I have to be honest with you: When the FBI let me out of prison early to advise the agency on preventing fraud, I wasn't a changed person. I wasn't rehabilitated. But when I started working with the FBI, one of the most ethical groups of men and women in the world, I couldn't help but have some of that character rub off on me.
I was very blessed it was Steven Spielberg who made the movie. He was very much into the redemption side of the story. They asked him in an interview why he had owned the rights to this story for 20 years before he made the movie, and he said, 'I wanted to see what the real Frank Abagnale did with his life before I immortalised him on film.'
I went to the library and learned how checks work. I found out that routing numbers are like zip codes: the checks are sent to the bank that correlates to the routing number. If I manipulate those numbers to a bank far away, it would take longer to get back to the bank, which gave me more time to write more bad checks.