Catch Me If You Can - THE FIRST CON

Frank Abagnale, Jr. is the son of Frank Sr. and Paulette Abagnale (who was born in Oran, Algeria as Paulette Noel Anton). The couple—who met in Oran when Frank was stationed in Algeria during WWII—had four children (a daughter and three sons) before they divorced. Image online via Find-A-Grave entry for Paulette (who died, at age 87, in 2014).


Before Frank Abagnale entered the real world of check forging and money swindling, he conned his Dad.

Frank, Jr. was 15 at the time. He had a junior's driving license and a trusting father. No longer using his Mobil credit card, Frank, Sr. gave it to his son whom he thought was a responsible young guy. The elder Abagnale was shocked the day a Mobil investigator, with lots of questions, showed up at his door.

Unknown to his father, Frank had concocted a scheme. He describes it in his book, Catch Me If You Can. Propositioning a local gas station attendant, Abagnale hatched his first con:

I'll buy a set of those tires and charge them on this card. Only I don't take the tires. You give me $100 instead. You've still got the tires, and when my dad pays Mobil for them, you get your cut. You're ahead to start with, and when you do sell the tires, the whole $160 goes into your pocket. What do you say? You'll make out like a dragon, man.  (Catch Me If You Can, page 14.)

It wasn't just those tires, however. Frank "bought" 14 sets of tires, 22 batteries, plus enough gas and oil to run up a $3,400 charge in three months. Abagnale, Sr. was oblivious, until the investigator paid a visit, because Frank had intercepted - and pitched - the credit card bill.

He thought about confessing, but couldn't summon the courage. He adored his father and didn't want to disappoint him. Somebody else would have to "tell on him."

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Nov 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Jul 01, 2019

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"THE FIRST CON" AwesomeStories.com. Nov 01, 2002. Feb 17, 2020.
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