finding people

High-stakes hide and seek in the digital age

If you need to disappear – or find someone – Frank Ahearn knows how to make it happen, even in our hyperconnected digital world.

BEFORE the internet, if you needed to go into hiding, it was pretty straightforward. Not so today. Frank Ahearn has a very particular set of skills. He traces people who don’t want to be found, and helps others boost their privacy or disappear altogether. He has seen professional hide-and-seek transform in the 21st century.

How did you become a “skip tracer”, finding people who have run out on their lives?

I was doing undercover work for a detective agency in the 1980s when I saw the skip tracer at work and it fascinated me. I told my boss I wanted to do the job, and he said, “Sure, if you can get me a copy of my phone records.” That night I went to a payphone, called the phone company pretending to be my boss and said I needed to go over my calls. They told me every place my boss had called in the last few months. The next day I became a skip tracer.

I got really good at “pretexting” – essentially tricking people into handing over information. Later, I had my own firm of skip tracers.

You make it sound easy.

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Creating Privacy Begins With…

Creating privacy begins with locating digital information that can connect and pierce your offline world. In my skip tracing (finding people) days I touted that, information was the greatest tool and I still believe such, however, the availability of information and the obsession of connecting people and information is dangerous and can be deadly.

If you are working on your privacy, you must begin with the digital information. In the past I was primarily focused on your information, however, I have broadened my scope. The digital world is all about connecting. It connects information to people, people to people and past to present. There are two strategies, the first is being able to look beyond your own information and locate if other people’s information can pierce your privacy. The second and most important is being able to determine how your own digital information connects you to your offline world (home). Think connections!

Now this is not a digital to digital search but a digital to flesh and bones search. It is the information discovered on the internet which will be used to hunt you. Such as, your mothers phone number, your daughter in college or a photo of you on a boat in Port Hercule de Monaco. It is these digital items which displays something in the non-digital world and leads a predator to the tangible. Until you combat these digital footprints there is no privacy protection.

I offer my clients a Digital Search Report where I search out their digital information and determine if the digital can connect to their offline life. The connected information is usually combated with digital disinformation.

Frank M. Ahearn – Digital Search Report

Author of: The Art of Disappearing, According to Sun Tzu’s, The Art of War

Updated Privacy & People Finding Services

Frank M. Ahearn provides a unique set of services that is difficult to define. Typically, they fall within the world of how to disappear, high-net–worth-privacy, digital disinformation and finding people. Most who come my way believe their situation has no resolution. However, this is where my skill sets and background as a skip tracer, social engineer and privacy expert proves extremely useful in problem solving.

Digital Search Report: When individuals begin their quest to create privacy or disappear their first step is usually to search personal online information. The objective is to learn what is known about them, however, what is known is not the actual danger. It is how online information is connected to offline information that is the true danger.

Your first step in personal privacy should be a Digital Search Report. I search your digital information and create a detailed report displaying which information makes you vulnerable and how to combat the vulnerable information.

Combating Negative Information: Digital Disinformation is the most successful tactic for creating online privacy and combating negative and unwanted information. When an unfortunate digital issues occurs, people tend to turn to reputation companies to assist with their problem. However, reputation companies use online suppression which bounces information down the search engines. This is an immediate but not a long term solution. In addition, if someone is searching your information they do not stop on page two of a search engine.

Digital Disinformation is available in rounds where I work the first round and put up the disinformation. We wait a week or so and review how the information lands. The majority of the time the matter is immediately resolved, however, depending on the issue and your personal information a second round of disinformation might be needed.

Creating Personal Privacy: Besides using Digital Disinformation to combat unwanted information, disinformation can be used to protect personal privacy. For example, I make it appear that you live in city A but in reality live in city B. This is the ultimate protection when it comes to shielding the location of your home.

Skip Tracing: If you need to locate a person, provide me the subjects name and relevant background information. The turnaround time is 24 to 48 hours. Please note, the fee is for the search not the results.

Frank M. Ahearn – www.Disappear.Info

Author of: The Art of Disappearing, According to Sun Tzu’s, The Art of War