From Publishers Weekly
Offering spine-tingling terror for anyone who has a Social Security number and birth date, counterfeiting expert Abagnale (author of Catch Me if You Can
—a memoir detailing his former life in crime) chronicles the means and aftereffects of identity theft. Studded with alarming case histories, the first half of the book reads like a how-to for would-be thieves, offering a closeup look at financial and criminal fraud and Americans' particular vulnerability to it. By page 100, many readers will be willing to do anything to prevent a future fraud against them. Fortunately, Abagnale supplies a 20-step prevention plan in the second half, including basic tips such as regularly checking your credit report, using a shredder and avoiding questionable Internet sites and ATMs. For those unlucky enough to be victimized, he offers step-by-step instructions on filing a police report and contacting the Fair Trade Commission. Above all, this heart-pounding guide drives home the point that identity theft can come from any direction at any time to anyone—whether a careless credit card user, diehard check-writer, "cash-only" buyer or even the deceased. (Apr. 24)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
As a young man, Abagnale made a career out of impersonating others and forging checks to support a wild lifestyle. The fascinating story of his evasion and final capture by the FBI was told in his memoir Catch Me If You Can
, which was made into a major motion picture. He now works with the FBI and banking institutions to prevent identity crimes. Identity theft has come a long way since Abagnale's capers, and the incidence of these crimes by perpetrators using the Internet has ballooned out of control. Abagnale explains how frighteningly easy it is to open bank accounts and credit cards in someone else's name and quickly trash their credit. It is getting so bad that even parents and children are snatching each other's identities! In addition to profiling the variety of forms these crimes take, Abagnale gives 20 easy steps to safeguard your identity and credit, explains how to obtain and read your credit report, and recommends ways that society at large can take measures to prevent this insidious crime. David SiegfriedCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved