The Real Life Inspiration for 'Catch Me If You Can' Hosts Scam Prevention Series
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Developed by Zulu Alpha Kilo for HomeEquity Bank, former conman turned world-class security expert Frank W. Abagnale hosts online content series
As if the global pandemic isn’t troubling enough, scam calls are on the rise and 91% of Canadians over the age of 55 believe they’re more vulnerable to fraud. So, in an effort to help people recognise scam calls in real time, HomeEquity Bank has launched ‘Catch The Scam’, an online content series and masterclass teaching the finer points of how scams actually work.
The series is hosted and taught by none other than Frank W. Abagnale, a former conman turned world-class security expert. Abagnale’s life story was told in the hit 2002 film named after his best-selling book, ‘Catch Me If You Can’.
“The truth is criminals are becoming so crafty that even a former conman like myself could fall victim today,” says Abagnale, who had defrauded banks of nearly $2.5million and led authorities on a global manhunt by the age of 21. After spending five years in prison, he would go on to work for the FBI to help them catch cutting-edge cheque forgers. Now his ability to expose the psychological tactics and inner workings of a scam operation make him an ideal partner for HomeEquity Bank.
“Scammers are turning their sights on older Canadians – and HomeEquity Bank knew we had to act. According to our survey with Ipsos, more than half of Canadians 55 and older say they’ve been a target, with one-in-three saying they’ve fallen victim to a scam.” says Yvonne Ziomecki, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at HomeEquity Bank. “With Catch the Scam, we’re empowering older Canadians with invaluable insights into how to detect and prevent a scam from taking place. In other words, they’ll now be able to fight back and beat these criminals at their own game.”
Developed by Toronto-based agency, Zulu Alpha Kilo, ‘Catch The Scam’ will be available for free on Facebook and YouTube – the preferred social platforms for HomeEquity Bank’s target audience of retirees. The series exposes four common scam operations across an equal number of episodes: The Romance Scam, The Lottery Scam, The Grandparent Scam and The CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) Scam.
Each episode reveals how scammers extract money from people by preying upon their various emotions over the phone. ‘The CRA Scam’ delves into a scammer’s use of fear and aggression to extort cash immediately, while ‘The Romance Scam’ details how scammers bleed their victims of tidy sums over time by lulling them into a false sense of security and affection.
“Creativity can make a dent in real society issues,” says Zak Mroueh, founder and chief creative officer of Zulu Alpha Kilo. “But putting another public service announcement into the world would only go so far. Ultimately, we set out to blur the lines between education and entertainment.”
Client: HomeEquity Bank - Yvonne Ziomecki, Vivianne Gauci, Erin Wilson and Niary Toodakian
Agency: Zulu Alpha Kilo
Chief Creative Officer: Zak Mroueh
Creative Director: Irfan Khan
ACD/Art Director: Kevin Sato
ACD/Writer: Vinay Parmar
Account Team: David Tremblay and Jenn Gaidola-Sobral