Social media security: Scammers target oversharing

(NBC News) – An infamous former scam artist is issuing a stern warning about the dangers of social media.

Con artist turned security expert Frank Abagnale, Jr., the inspiration of the hit movie “Catch Me If You Can,” says social media sites are fertile ground for identity thieves because too many people are too willing to share too much.

“We tell them who we’re married to, our wife’s maiden name, our children’s names, where they go to school, what kind of cars we drive, what our pets’ names are, where we’re going on vacation,” he says.

Abagnale has teamed up with the AARP to talk about older Americans falling victim to scams on social media, but their advice applies to all ages.

“For example, we tend to put straight photographs of ourselves on social media. They can then take that photograph and put it on a form of identification or a passport or driver’s license,” Abagnale warns.

He suggests you only use photos standing or sitting next to family, friends or pets.

Also, fudge your online bio to keep the bad guys off your trail. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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