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The real 'Catch Me If You Can' con artist says every scam involves these red flags

Ex-con man says every scam has one of these red flags
Ex-con man says every scam has one of these red flags

Americans lost almost $1.5 billion to fraud in 2018.

That's $400 million more than 2017, according to the FTC's Consumer Sentinel Network.

71-year-old Frank Abagnale is a reformed con artist and author of "Scam Me If You Can." He was famously portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2002 movie "Catch Me If You Can." He now works as a private consultant, author and public speaker with the goal of preventing fraud.

Abagnale, who has worked with the FBI for four decades, says every scam, no matter how sophisticated, still boils down to the same old tricks, except for one thing: technology.

"Back 50 years ago, there were con men, and that stood for confidence man," Abagnale said. Scams used to require face-to-face interaction and meant that a scammer needed make a human connection with their target. Technology lets scammers target countless people online and avoid ever meeting them in person.

Abagnale said this dehumanizes the process and means that today's scammers "will take you for everything you have, without any compassion whatsoever."

Whether it's a fast-talking con artist or a random message on social media, check out this video to learn about the two red flags you will see in almost every scam.

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Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.