Subject of ‘Catch Me If You Can’ movie speaks in Louisville abou - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Subject of ‘Catch Me If You Can’ movie speaks in Louisville about severity of Equifax breach

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Frank Abagnale Frank Abagnale

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Equifax has taken down one of its websites after reports of a new hack. The company said its credit report assistance page may have been compromised, and its trying to determine the extent of this suspected breach.

More than 145 million Americans were victims of a data breach announced just last month.

Frank Abagnale, whose life story was featured in the movie, "Catch Me If You Can," spoke at an AARP Kentucky Fraud Watch Network event in Louisville on Thursday night.

“I impersonated an airline pilot, a doctor, a lawyer," Abagnale said. "I wrote about $2.5 million worth of bad checks."

He said the massive data breach at Equifax is especially concerning.

“Equifax is very serious because a lot of pertinent information you cannot change is now out there, and you’re gonna have to worry about that for a long time,” Abagnale said.

Abagnale, now a FBI fraud consultant, said once the information is out there, it is easy for criminals to use.    

“They can apply for credit in your name, they can apply for a mortgage in your name, they can apply for a job in your name,” he said.

While hackers may have the information, it could be years before the extent of the damage is known.

“They warehouse that data for usually two or three years before they ever put it back out into the marketplace, so we’re not really gonna see any of that information come out," Abagnale said. "In about two or three years on the dark web, some of that will start being sold in batches.”

There is not a lot you can do if your data was already stolen, but there are ways to keep it from being used. 

“The only thing you can do is either freeze your credit, which is the best thing to do, or use a credit monitoring service that monitors your credit for you so they notify you in real time,” Abagnale said.

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