How to Disappear & Search Yourself

From: The Digital Hit Man – A little antiquated but some useful information.

The Self Search is making inventory of all of the sites you are a current member of, including old sites you participated in as well. Think about sites you may have signed up for but never participated in; there might be a few of those hanging around. When I was doing digital skip traces and background searches, I often stumbled across a duplicate LinkedIn and old blogs that had personal rants. You’d be surprised by the different sites I would discover, like the one with the married man with three kids and then the duplicate social site claiming the same man was single and ready to mingle. That old account just might leave behind that one nugget that blows it all. After you’ve located the third-party sites you are aware of, you need to search for the ones you do not remember.

Your search terms should be something like this: Frank M. Ahearn–disappear, Frank Ahearn – disappear, Ahearn—disappear. What you want to do is tweak your name from Frank to Francis, Ahearn Frank. People tend to misspell my name so I would include Frank Ahern by dropping the second A. It also does not hurt to translate your search into different languages–you never know what you can pick up.

Mix and match your name. Also, misspell your name, because mistakes happen. Search your full name, reverse it, and put your city next to your name and even your email address. The goal is to be as creative as possible.

There are some simple tricks to utilize when you begin searching out your information. Think about the things you are associated and connected with–make a list. My online associations are words like disappear, privacy, skip trace, Monica Lewinsky, Alcatraz, How to and a bunch of others.


First Name – Middle Name – Last name – Titles – Birth City – Current City – Profession – Business Name – Spouse Name – Deleted Email Address – Current Email or Domain  – Name – Drunk Driving – Arrested – Convicted – Accused – Dismissed – High School – College Alumni – Bowling Team – VFW –

You want to keep good track of the sites you’ve located and it’s important NOT to do anything with the sites. In the chapter CORP-DISTORT-DELETE we will deal with this online garbage you find. The reason I say “garbage” is because all these sites do is collect, collect and collect your information and use it to make money. They promise you the world, claiming your information is safe, but that’s bullshit. We have seen hackers infiltrate the most protected of sites. Take a little time and do some research on these names.

Adrian Lamo – Albert Gonzalez – Dennis Moran – Ehud Tenenbaum – George Hotz – HD Moore – Jonathan James – Kevin Mitnick – Kevin Poulsen – Kristina Svechinskaya – Leonard Rose – Rafael Núñez – Robert Tappan Morris – Tim Berners-Lee – Weev

I know zip shit about hacking, but I know a shitload about lying to obtain information. If I was hired to hunt down and extract information about you, the first place I would go is Facebook. It wouldn’t take long for me to call in and find my way around and figure out how they operate. Facebook and other online companies protect themselves from hackers and other types of online intruders but I can’t imagine it being too difficult to phone-pretext.


It’s easy to figure that Facebook and other sites typically access your account by email address, just as utility and cell phone companies access your account by social security number. I would call the website corporate office or their offsite office that houses customer service or tech support and use one of several pretexts to grab the information.

“Hi, this is Frank Tromper from Steal Your Information Company. Our systems are down. Can you bring up an email address for an account?”

This may not work the first time around because maybe their systems do not go down or maybe the department I hit up cannot bring up accounts via email addresses.

“Oh you can’t bring up by email address? Can you tell me who can, or can you bring up by name?”

Remember, it’s just chipping away at the stone. Every no leads to a yes.

While I am mentioning email addresses, running your email in search engines is important as well. You might locate a blog or message board you commented on or a bid on EBay. Trick out your email address the same way you did with your name.

“” – “” – “” – “FrankAhearn@xxxxx”

Think back to those old email addresses you had in the past and tweak them too. The results of your searching will bring up different categories of information, so make sure you break down the email by mixing it around.

PIV Search

PIV stands for Personal Information Violation, which means someone is posting information about you online without asking your permission. PIV breaks down to known and unknown violators, the known being family and friends and the unknown everyone else making money off your information.

I find it odd that the people we know personally post our information without asking permission. Why do people assume we want our information up online or even want to be associated with the person’s posting or photograph? Think about it. You’re a cop, prosecutor or millionaire. Any schmuck who is able to type can locate your information because your cousin Dale in Miami posted and tagged your pictures on his Facebook page.

A year ago I saw a photo of myself on Facebook tagged with my name. Considering what I do for a living, I was shocked that this person had posted and tagged my photo. I politely requested that they remove the photo and they did.


The first task is to begin searching social network connections. The one problem with certain sites like Facebook is that if you or a friend shared certain information or photos of you, it will not be deleted. Try to see if your friend can retag the photo. Your search terms should include the same tweaking of your name that you did with third party sites.


In the future facial recognition will be able to search old newspaper photos and identify the faces in public photos.

Okay, you are going to run your name on search engines, specifically adding a social site to your name. This is somewhat tedious, but it is best to be thorough rather than cheat when hunting for your information. Also reverse the search, entering, for example, FACEBOOK, FRANK M. AHEARN.


Frank M. Ahearn, Facebook – Frank M. Ahearn, LinkedIn – Frank M. Ahearn, MySpace – Frank M. Ahearn, Blogs – Frank M. Ahearn, Flickr – Frank M. Ahearn, Spouse Name – Frank M. Ahearn, Bowling Club – Frank M. Ahearn, Ostrich Farming – Frank M. Ahearn, Alumni – Frank M. Ahearn, Wife name – Children’s Name, Frank M. Ahearn – Frank M. Ahearn, Friends’ Names

It is important to combine your name with others because you could locate a site that is on page 97 of Yahoo and again, it could be that nugget of information that could blow your privacy boat out of the water. The thought process here is “think connected third parties.”

Once you feel confident that you have located all of your information, contact your friends, family and other folks you know and ask them to re-move your information. And for your own personal social sites, do not do anything until you read the Corp-Distort-Delete chapter. With the unfriendly sites you’ve located, you need to make that decision–to pretext or not to pretext.

If you are going to pretext blogs or websites, think of an extreme pretext. You could claim that your sixteen-year-old daughter is being stalked by a killer soon to be released from prison. Or claim your husband is a mad lunatic out for vengeance and you need the information removed so he does not locate you. When I was pretexting, the ruse I created was a problem that I put in the lap of the person I was pretexting. Usually that person would come up with a resolution to my problem and assist me in my need.

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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