Frank Abagnale of ‘Catch Me If You Can’ has tips to protect yourself from identity theft

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NEW ORLEANS -- Frank Abagnale is one of the most famous former Con Man ever.  The movie 'Catch Me If You Can' is all about him.

"I thought the Steven Spielberg stayed very close to the facts," Abagnale told WGNO about the film that stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.

Abagnale went on an intercontinental forgery and imposter spree from the time he was 16 until he was arrested at the age of 21.  He served time in France, Sweden, and the United States.

"When I was 26, the government offered to take me out of prison on the condition I go to work with an agency of the federal government for the remainder of my sentence," he said.  "This year I'm celebrating 41 years with the FBI, so for over four decades I have done just that."

So Abagnale has gone from bad to good, and he recently spoke at an AARP event in New Orleans to offer advice on how to avoid having your identity stolen.

For starters, you have to understand just how easy it is to steal someone's identity.

"I just need to know those three things: your name, your place of birth, your date of birth, and the rest is easy," he said.

Abagnale also says that advances in technology are only making it easier for people to have their identities stolen.

"Well technology breeds crime. It always has and always will," Abagnale said.  But he says many people make themselves easy targets by posting sensitive information on social media.

"We go on social media and we tell everybody everything, our mother's maiden name, our children's names, where they go to school, where we went on vacation, where we're going to vacation, most of all our date of birth, our place of birth," he said.

Abagnale has some tips for protecting yourself from people who want to steal your identity.  He also shares some tips on what information to leave off of your social media pages.

Click on the video button above to see the entire interview.

Oh, and we had to ask one question about the movie.  Did he really pass the bar in Louisiana without going to law school?

"Yes and I did but it was 50 years ago."