Frank W. Abagnale’s life was a rollercoaster of conflict, trying to cheat the federal system and con himself through his daily life. He was an imposter, cheque forger and con man. He had about 8 different identities he would use to get the things he needed to stay incognito. The message of the book is that It is not worth it to cheat your way through life, work hard to earn your assets and this is portrayed throughout the entire rollercoaster of a life Frank W.
Abagnale had. Starting at a young age he was constantly on the run and every day presented itself with a new obstacle, He lost the most important part of a person which was his family and in the long run he ended up getting caught by the FBI and was thrown in jail and isolated for 5 years.
The life of a con artist is very busy, tedious and requires a quick thinker or a fast reflexed client to take on the roll.
Being a con artist is like gambling in the casinos of Las Vegas, you are always taking risk and the cost is a lot on the table. Franks early stages of his con life he conned his way into the occupation of a Pan Am airline pilot with a fake identification and was constantly travelling from city to city, constantly on the radar for the FBI hunting him down for prey. “A con artist’s only weapon is his brain” this quote is explaining that to be an effective con you must be always on the go and ready for any challenge a con can outwit, which is not healthy for your mental health.
Without your brain in the scenario, you will fail because you have no other defence. One mistake or miscalculation and your cover is blown. “An honest man has nothing to fear, so I’m trying my best not to be afraid.” Frank had over 8 different identities which he had to hide constant lies and keep a poker face to persuade the opposition.
Next, Living the lifestyle Abagnale did forced him to be on the run from not only the FBI but also his home. He left his Mom/Dad to cheat through life and decided to outwit the system while missing the most important piece of a person, family. “It was an odd pastime for a con man, but I had no real sense of hypocrisy. For the first time in my life I was giving unselfishly of myself, with no thought of any return, and it made me feel good.” This quote shows that the life of a con takes a mental toll, he felt that with his witt he had power and was above everyone and felt he did not have to do what is right.
And finally, Franks decision of becoming a con artist finally comes back to bite him in the behind when he gets busted by the FBI and arrested. Every action has a consequence whether it be good or bad, it always has a consequence.