How to Disappear – Traveling With Financial Instruments

CHAPTER THIRTEEN – How to Disappear from Big Brother

Lady KGB escaped from a prostitution ring while working in Europe. She came from poverty in her home country and had the opportunity to leave and relocate to for what she believed would lead to a better life. The deal was she would work and payoff the people who smuggled her out of her country. She knew that she would work as a dancer but it did not matter, as long as freedom would eventually come her way.

In time, Lady KGB became the “den mother” and handled a revolving group of girls who worked strip clubs and private parties. As time rolled on, Lady KGB began to inquire about her debt. Each time she addressed the issue and only empty promises came her way. Eventually she knew that freedom was not in her scope.

One afternoon a raid took place in a motel where a group of girls resided. One of the pimps gave Lady KGB a briefcase, sent her off to a different motel and instructed her to wait for him. Curiosity got the better of her and she broke open the briefcase. There were a dozen or so passports, including her own. In several envelopes, there were stacks of colorful Euros. She knew that this would be her only opportunity to get away and she took it. She left the rendezvous motel for another.

Lady KGB – Danger Issues – Get Rid Of Passports – Deal with Cash – Get Out Of Town

Lady KGB located my website and contacted me. Her email was half a page long and sounded desperate, crazy and paranoid all wrapped up on one. I rarely get on the phone with a potential client without them setting up a prepaid consultation. However, her desperation got the better of me.

Lady KGB had several issues she needed to address immediately. Such as getting out of the city, dumping the passports and dealing with the bag of cash. Each of these could jeopardize her freedom.

If her pimp caught her, it would be death. If law enforcement stopped her, the numerous passports and cash would be plenty to detain her.  There were four essential goals, pick up disappearing tools, convert cash, ditch passports and get out of town.

Lady KGB provided me with her hotel address and I searched locations where she could buy a few prepaid cell phones and prepaid debit cards. She hit the streets immediately. There was no time to cover her tracks properly and use a third party to purchase the phones. The threat was looming and escaping was most important.

Goals: Buy Disappearing Tools – Convert Cash to Instruments – Ditch Passports – Get Out of Town

While Lady KGB split from the hotel and went to buy her disappear tools, I was trying to figure out the best way to deal with the passports. Ideally, I would have preferred she drop the passports at the police station with a note of explanation. However, the surveillance cameras could capture her face. This would probably lead to an apprehension at the train station or airport.

I do not recommend disguises but in Lady KGB’s situation, I thought it would be best she utilized one. She picked up scissors, instant hair dye and a change of clothes. In a short period, she had a makeover and with a little luck, Lady KGB would go un-noticed.

I figured the safest place to drop the passports would be at a church. I located an open church and Lady KGB stuffed the passports in the donation box. When this was completed, she quickly made her way to the train station and purchased a ticket for the next train out of town. Lady KGB was now in the hunt and next I would turn her into a Virtual Entity.

When she safely made it to a new city, I had her check into a hotel with room service. This way she did not need to exit the room for food and would only hit the streets to obtain her needed disappear tools. This reduced her exposure.

I needed to figure out how Lady KGB would handle her suitcase full of euros. Traveling with a large amount of cash made her vulnerable to theft, loss and the law. Opening a bank account was not going to happen because she had no proof of address or other much needed identifiers. She also had no plans of staying in the country. To relieve Lady KGB of her cash problem I had her convert her cash into paper, plastic, metal and digital.


From Wiki – An international money order is very similar in many aspects to a regular money order except that it can be used to make payments abroad. With it, a buyer can easily pay a seller for goods or services if he or she resides in another country. International money orders are often issued by a buyer’s bank and bought in the currency that the seller accepts. International money orders are thought to be safer than sending currency through the post because there are various forms of identification required to cash an international money order, often including a signature and a form of photo identification.

Important: Before you purchase an international money order, it is imperative to address two vital questions.

First, will you be able to cash the international money order in your destination country?

Second, is the identification you possess sufficient to cash the money order in your destination country?

Assume you are in a hotel in Copenhagen and are disappearing to Warsaw. You visit Post Denmark and discover they do not sell international money orders, meaning the money orders they sell are not redeemable in Poland.

What you do next is locate a Polish bank that has a branch in Copenhagen and a branch in Warsaw. Before you visit the bank you need a mailing address in your disappear city, in this case Warsaw. I suggest using a large chain hotel as your address. Large hotels will accept packages for guest.

Once you find a Polish bank branch, speak with a manager and explain you are moving to Warsaw and will be working for a large chain hotel. Explain that your family gave you cash as a going away present and you do not want to carry the cash. Ask if the bank can provide a money order or bank check and if they are redeemable at their Warsaw branches. Again, confirm your proof of identity is sufficient to cash a money orders or bank check. I would avoid traveler’s checks.

The saying, a smile goes a long way is 100% true. When you are trying to obtain something from another person smile, be polite and ask about their day.  If you see, photos on their desk compliment them on their beautiful grandchildren. The goal is to have the person like you and to solve your problem.

Most bankers will suggest you open a bank account. However, the reality is if you will not have the proper documents, such as proof of address like utilities or phone bill. Nor will you have the relevant social identification number. If you can obtain a bank check or international money order, go for it!


The next step is to turn cash into plastic. You are going to hit the bricks to search convenience stores, cell phone stores and drug stores to purchase prepaid credit/debit cards. You want the type of prepaid/gift credit card you can top up immediately and walk out with a debit card loaded with funds.

When you purchase your prepaid debit cards next to it on the shelf should be top up cards that you purchase to add money. Most cards have a twenty-four hour spending limit. Some cards have monthly spending limit too. So be aware when choosing your card, you do not want to be caught short.

Also, buy multiple top up cards from different locations. As a backup take a photo of the debit cards and top up activation numbers in case you lose them.

Technology is changing and in some places top up cards are not necessary. Now you can bring the debit card to the register and top up directly at the register. The one concern about this is you could be carrying fifty debit cards, which could be lost, stolen or considered suspect.


Cash may be king but gold does not suck! Gold jewelry is no doubt a portable currency that can be bought and sold anywhere in the world. Hit up the local jewelry district and buy a few pieces of gold. I would suggest buying chains and bracelets since they can be worn and discretely hidden.  Do note you cannot pull a Mr. T and walk through customs with fifty chains around your neck.

Before you buy jewelry, do some quick homework about buying gold and do not be afraid to negotiate, negotiate and negotiate. Avoid buying anything with stones unless you know what you are doing.


Another way of getting money from Point A to Point B is to use a Western Union type of transfer service. Again, before you make a transaction confirm that you can collect the funds in your disappear destination and that your identification is sufficient enough for pick up. Do not wire an outrageous amount of money that will trigger a red flag. How much that is, I do not know do your homework.

Money Forward 

Another option is to open several secure mail drops online. I use the word secure because in this case you should search for a chain store mail drop, not Freaky Frank’s Mail Service. The mail drop has to be reputable because you are going to trust them with your money.

Using the money forward route is risky but sometimes there are no other options. When you open your mail drop, open for one year and pay a few hundred dollars on the account to have “international” express forwarding service.

After your mail drops are set up, buy birthday cards and enclose cash, money orders or prepaid debit cards. Write a nice note to yourself wishing you a happy birthday. Do not ship large amounts of cash it could be stolen.  You could express the envelopes or put your return address from another mail drop you own.

When you need the money from your mail drops, you check into a large chain hotel. You contact the mail drops and have them express your package to the hotel. The front desk will send up to your room when received.

Be discreet and only receive three or four per shipments per hotel and maybe a day or two apart. Getting fifteen international packages in one day to a hotel could appear suspicious.


A common money-laundering scheme is to utilize art. What one does is buy a piece of art for 100k, remove it from the frame, roll it up and place it in a poster tube. Then hop on a plane, land in a new country and do not disclose the value of the painting. Then you sell the painting for the best possible price and now you have X amount of undeclared money in a new country. However, the art route is a burned bridge; law enforcement has become hip to this method.

Lady KGB

Lady KGB was able to secure her funds a few different ways and then she left the city for her new disappear destination. This was not the end of Lady KGB’s work because she was going to be in the hunt and it was important to keep those bad boys she burned busy searching elsewhere. What I did next was create target locations where the predators would search.

Target Locations

A target location gives the impression that you are living in a specific city or recently departed from a city. A constant you will read in this book is about creating false leads. If you do not create false leads, the hunter will most likely discover the correct leads, if that happens adios muchacho.

The person or agency hunting you down will use your phone records, airlines, credit card records, bank records, internet search records and even the records of family, friends and employer. What this means is the hunter has an arsenal of information that could lead to your hiding place. You have only the tool of deception so use wisely.

In the past, I did many favors for law enforcement. It was common for an agency to reach out to a private investigator I knew and ask for information in order to bypass the subpoena process. If we learned anything from Edward Snowden it should be that, no information is safe.

A Bypass the Subpoena Story

One Friday afternoon I get a call from a PI who has a phone number he needs identified for the State Police. The heat busted some dude with a bag full of blow and not wanting to take the pinch the busted dude talks. He was willing to take the police to the house where he scored the drugs but the problem being he does not remember the address since a running partner drove him. However, he does have a phone number for the drug location.

The PI provided me with the phone number and I pretexted the local phone company as repair. Easy as pie but do not try this at home it is seriously illegal! I obtained the subscriber name on the account and the physical location of the drug house.

I gave the information to my client and he forwarded the information to police. The police ask the busted dealer if they drive him around the area could he identify the drug house. The dealer tells them he could and so they cruise the hood. The cops circle a few block and narrow down to the address I provided and eventually they drive down the correct street. The dealer points out the home of where he purchased the drugs. Later that afternoon more drug dealers are in shackles. The subpoena process bypassed. The lesson of this story is not everyone plays by the rules.

Frank M. Ahearn
Author of: The Little Black Book Of Skip Tracing: Creating Pretext, Mastering Social Engineering And Finding Anyone Anywhere


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