CHAPTER EIGHTEEN – How to Disappear from Big Brother
As a Virtual Entity I attempt to create a Go Bag in most foreign cities I visit. For me freedom is always the focus and the endgame. To disappear you need two items, financial instruments and travel documents.
You may not have the opportunity to travel but that should not stop you from attempting to acquire your disappear instruments online. Instruments being prepaid debit cards, prepaid money cards, foreign currency, transfer accounts like and online merchant accounts that accept credit cards.
In the past, the most difficult part of setting up virtual tools in a foreign country was the language barrier. This is not really an issue anymore since the creation of online translation tools but let us not place too much stock in their clarity. I suggest utilizing a third party assistant for translation.
Although, the best asset in any foreign city is a local realtor, they know all. What I do is search online for an apartment or house for sale. I do not search for a ten million dollar penthouse but something in the one or two hundred thousand range. I contact a local realtor and explain I will be visiting the city and I am interested in viewing an apartment.
You do not pick the ten million dollar apartment because this will make you a big fish to the realtor. The realtor will want to know all about you and will search you online. With this said you create a cover story before contacting the realtor.
Prior to heading to a foreign city, I create my fake online identity that I travel under and use for communication purposes. The identities I build are all self-employed.
Never, ever, never, ever, ever build a website and profile yourself as a licensed individual like a lawyer, doctor, accountant or other type of licensed individual. This is illegal.
Having a cover website will satisfy the curiosity of the realtor. Remember to do this work use your Third Party Assistant or from a computer where your identity cannot be connected with. After you make a connection with a realtor, you will hit them up for a variety of information.
My first question to the realtor is if there are local message boards like Craigslist or Back Page where I can place an advertisement for an assistant for hire. Most realtors provide me with websites where I can place the ad and they usually refer someone for the position. I thank them for the help but I avoid using their referral. I prefer to keep all contacts separate.
I review the message boards the realtor provided. If the boards are not in English, I put them through a translator and slowly make my way around. If the language barrier is too difficult, I use my Third Party Assistant to create the ad for me.
Businessperson searching for an assistant for one or two days must be bilingual and have a good knowledge of the city.
The majority of people who contact me are college students. I explain that I am setting up a business and I need them to assist me as a guide and interpreter. Having a motivated college student never fails. Make sure they know the different neighborhoods and the public transportation.
The reason I suggest hiring an assistant is to get to know the city. Sometimes being in new places it can be difficult figuring how the city operates. When I arrive, I have my local assistant take me through the city and teach me how to use the bus, trains and other important information I should to know.
You never know you could be in your new city three weeks and find yourself discovered. Having full knowledge of the city can aid in a quick escape.
I open a mail drop and pay one year in advance. With the mail drop, you do not want to have a P.O. Box drop you want an address drop like 123 Main Street Suite 815. In one instance, I was unable to open a mail drop and my college assistant allowed me to use his home address until I was able to locate a suitable mail facility.
Prepaid Cell Phones
Every country I land in I buy several prepaid cell phones from multiple carriers and I top up the time. Just a note some countries have cracked down on pay as you go phones and you now need to provide ID to obtain a cell phone. This should not be a problem since you will NOT go into the store and purchase the cell phone. Remember, the identification and cameras in the store create the digital footprint. Find a soul in need of a few euros or have your assistant make the purchase.
To keep track of my cell phones I write the country name and cell number on masking tape and place on back of phone. Then I tape over with clear tape so the ink does not run. If you have, numerous cell phones consider shipping the phones so you are not going through checkpoints with twenty cell phones. You may be wondering why carry the phones when you can carry only the SIMS. Carrying twenty SIM cards could prompt a red flag too. Another option is to leave the prepaid cellphone in your mail drop.
When in a new country hit the streets and find a bank that will open a checking or savings account for you. Search online or call the bank ahead to find what documents you will need. Also, find out which branch has a person who speaks your language.
The trick is before you go on your bank account opening journey; locate an apartment for sale in the city. Again, do not print out a ten million dollar apartment but something in the one or two hundred thousand range that will not draw too much interest.
After you have located a branch that has a rep who can speak your language, have the real estate information printed out and available for their eyes.
Mention to the banker that you are renting an apartment locally but plan to buy an apartment. Show them the listing, photos and all. Explain the reason for visiting the bank is you need to know if they provide homeowners insurance. Do confirm there is such thing as homeowners insurance in the country.
Nine times, out of ten, the bank rep will change the direction of the conversation and ask where you will be banking. Explain you have yet to figure that out. They will suggest you use their bank and they will become extremely helpful with the account opening process. The real-estate listing motivates the banker and sometimes they will bend on the paperwork like proof of residence.
Another tactic is to find a bank that has foreclosures for sale on their website. Begin a relationship with someone in the foreclosure department. Make sure the conversation moves in the direction that you will be paying with cash. This tends to motivate people and they will suggest opening an account at their bank.
The downside to foreign banking is many banks do not mail account debit cards. They want you to pick it up at the branch. In addition, some banks use Electron Cards that have no three-digit security code on back of the card. This means you cannot use the card for online purchases because 99% of website payment systems require the three-digit code. You can only use an Electron Card in person. I have an Electron Card from one of my banks and it can be seriously inconvenient!
Also, check the fees for withdrawing at an ATM in foreign countries. I made the huge mistake of using a debit card and not reading about the fees in advance. I used the card four times in a week and it was thirty euros per withdrawal. Ouch!
When you open a bank account in a foreign land, make sure your funds are avaiable 24/7 via your ATM card. One bank account I had only allowed debits on the card up until ten pm their time.
I have also come across banks that only allow wire transfers during work hour as well as limits up to 600.00 per transfer. With such limits, you will spend a fortune transferring your funds. I speak from experience.
When you open a bank account, it is wise to have an account in your home currency and the currency of the country. Before you open your account, inquire about wiring funds out of the country. There could be currency restrictions. For example, if you have a foreign bank account in your home currency and want to wire transfer your home currency funds to your home country there could be a glitch. Some countries only allow outgoing wire transfers in their local currency. This could cost you a lot of money in currency exchange. Read the small print!
When I travel to a country that offers PayPal, I always open an account. I also try to get a local prepaid debit card to connect to the PayPal if possible. Note you do not need to be in the actual country to open a PayPal account for that country.
For the PayPal account, you will need an address. I do what I can to open a mail drop on the spot. If you are unable to open a mail drop, use a hotel address until you can secure a mail drop.
One of the reasons I have PayPal accounts in different countries is so I can use the Buy Now buttons on my website. This allows me to accept credit cards payments in various currencies parked in different countries. I look at the various PayPal accounts as a multiple currency savings accounts. Some days I accept Dollars, some days Euros, Swiss Francs, etc. One of the downsides to foreign PayPal accounts is PayPal does not offer their own debit card connected to the account. I have been able to link a prepaid debit card from country A to country B.
Frank M. Ahearn
Author of: The Little Black Book Of Skip Tracing: Creating Pretext, Mastering Social Engineering And Finding Anyone Anywhere
- DOUBLE IDENTITY
I find deception to be an amazing tool when utilized for the right reasons. I know it sounds odd. Most people would assume that deception is typically a negative act with dark intentions. When clients contact me they all have the same question, how can they delete the negative or untrue online information making their life miserable? They cannot!
Most people who contact me do not fully accept that the hands of others control their online information. This means deleting information can be near impossible and the only real strategy is deception.