How to Disappear

The Limited State of Disappearing

As time goes on I am beginning the think that there is no such thing as disappearing. You can go on the run, in hiding, stay under the radar or off the grid but can you truly disappear? If you are somewhere and someone is hunting you, you are not disappeared but in the hunt! For most who have disappeared, it is a limited state of being. If you cannot lay your head on your pillow with absolute surety that you are safe, you are on the run.

I speak with many people who run disappear plans by me and most of them are failure from the get go. Most create a plan based upon a reaction to a current or coming situation. All strategy is about the big picture and should ever be exclusive to the immediate. If you think immediate you will get the immediate pay-off. However, the immediate may not be what is needed to be successful in the future.

Perhaps disappearing should be a state of mind and one should consider themselves perpetually on the run. It is like the idea of freedom, true freedom can only ring in one’s mind because society creates limitations. When there are limitations freedom is hindered. When there is a predator, disappearing will always be a limited state.

Frank M. Ahearn
Author of: The Art of Disappearing: 199 Essential Privacy and Disappearing Tips

I posted the Art of Disappearing for free on my blog.

At one point I thought a disappearing strategy book based on the Art of War by Sun Tzu was a good idea. I no longer think so and so I have removed from Amazon and posted here. Perhaps there is some value to offer, perhaps not. Frank M. Ahearn

The Art of Disappearing:  According to Sun Tzu’s, Art of War – Laying Plans

Those who preplan their disappearance will have a greater chance at succeeding than those who do not. The essential message here is to walk away with the understanding that, the act of pre-disappearing is equally as important as the art of disappearing. Therefore, view the contents of this book from the perspective of pre-disappearing.

The Art of Disappearing will be explained through, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, using Section I: Laying Plans. (Translated from the Chinese by Lionel Giles, M.A.) I chose The Art of War because it can be engineered for the advantage of the prey.

Sun Tzu was a Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher who lived in the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, a widely influential work of military strategy that has affected both Western and Eastern philosophy. (wiki)

When you walk out the door and become a disappeared person you must accept that there is nothing constant but change. As a disappeared person you need to become instantly changeable and be able to adapt to new situations immediately. No matter the peril.

As a disappeared person you must utilize the tool of what if in all, thoughts, decisions and actions. You analyze your thoughts, what if this, what if that. You make a decision and you consider what if it is the wrong decision. You take action and you consider what if it was the wrong action. The what if becomes a code you live by. Your freedom depends on identifying all the what ifs that exist. To ignore but one what if, is to ignore potential failure.

The terms tactic and strategy are often confused: tactics are the actual means used to gain an objective, while strategy is the overall campaign plan, which may involve complex operational patterns, activity, and decision-making that lead to tactical execution. (wiki)

Never move forward on an action if you have not resolved the what if. Avoid having the attitude that you will cross that bridge when you get there or worry about something when it arrives. This is the mentality of an escaped prisoner, who never plans past the wall. Disappearing is never about chance, it is about a safe road to personal freedom.

Always anticipate the possibility of the unwanted knock. There is always a one percent chance you made a mistake, overlooked something or random chance has occurred. Such is the reason to have a backup plan for a new disappear city.

Disappearing is not solely about disappearing. Disappearing is about knowing your predator, knowing the information known about you and knowing the footprints you left behind. Disappearing is creating disinformation, utilizing deception and knowing how to avoid connections.

Everything is connected! All things digital are a disease which aims to connect. The problem is the digital is pushing itself into the offline world of physical space. In time the digital you and the offline you will be forced to be one identity. In my opinion this is the grave danger to personal identity. As a disappeared person you have to combat the digital so it does not connect to your offline physical space.

This book is about teaching you how to be a disappear strategist, not a follower of a how to book.

When you are out in the cold or on the run in Brussels, you cannot flip through the pages of a book for guidance. All the solutions of the future will come from you. In order for you to make the correct decisions you must learn to think like a strategist.

Sun Tzu: The Art of War is of vital importance to the State.

The Art of War is of vital importance to you! It will teach you about predators and their potential abilities. By being able to anticipate tactics you will be able to avoid confrontations and be successful in your disappearance.

Everything in your past and present are a potential footprint. Every footprint is a potential connection to your future. A disappeared person must learn how to incorporate what if, into each thought, decision and action. A strategist questions all and leaves nothing unanswered.

In The Art of Disappearing, what if, is imperative.

Sun Tzu: It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

There is only one of two outcomes when you disappear, freedom or no freedom. Disappearing is not a limited action from point A to point B but a lifestyle which involves strategies, tactics, a code and discipline.

Never think disappearing is exclusively about disappearing. Being disappeared is merely a result of actions you take. Those actions are all deception based actions. Therefore, to be and to remain a disappeared person you must learn to be a master of deception.

Being a disappeared person means understanding cause and effect: Cause and effect is a relationship between events or things, where one is the result of the other or others. This is a combination of action and reaction. ( Being a disappeared person means that you will not always be able to know the result of a decision or action.  Therefore, you must prepare yourself for numerous possible outcomes. 

In The Art of Disappearing, you must become a master of deception!

Sun Tzu: The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one’s deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

The Art of Disappearing is an abstract battle and never perceived to be governed by one force or countable actions. You cannot govern the actions of a spinning top. However, knowing that the top is spinning and knowing that it is might be spinning in your direction, offers you the opportunity to combat the situation.

In the Art of Disappearing the unexpected is expected!

Sun Tzu: The Moral Law – Sun Tzu states that people should be in accord with their ruler.

There is no moral law in the world of being disappeared. You are simply fair game to your predator! If you are confronted with a moral choice, the decision that follows must be based on your road to freedom.

In The Art of Disappearing, freedom is always the objective!

Sun Tzu: Heaven –  Signifies, night and day, cold and heat

You exist in a world where your thoughts decisions and actions will determine your fate. To disappear properly it is important to learn how to make decisions based upon information you know as well as information you do not know. The decisions you make must be black and white, however, your actions will be a shade of gray. Meaning, as you move forward, be aware that the black and white may need to change.

In The Art of Disappearing, you exist in a dichotomy!

Sun Tzu: Earth comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.

You are at war with numerous foes, such being humans, information, technology, connections, personal mistakes, the past and random chance. You are at war with everything around you, the corner you turn, the border you cross, the public space you walk and the stranger sitting across the room. In the disappearing world time, space, past, present and current are one.

“So what does time and space mean? It means time and space is inseparable and yet separable. Just as everything in life is present, and yet not present.” Dr. Vijai S. Shankar

Just because you cannot see it, does not mean it does not exist. You must always believe your predator is in your space, regardless of that space being measured by miles.

In The Art of Disappearing, everything is one!

Sun Tzu: The Commander – Virtue of wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage and strictness.

These are admirable words in a two-thousand-year-old book, which suggests a man should have a code. I do believe it is important to create a disappear code, however, avoid the chivalry. A disappear code is the foundation that creates the rules of self. The rules of self are a weapon to live by and never compromise.

In The Art of Disappearing, one must live by the rules of self!

Sun Tzu: Method and Discipline – Marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure.

To underestimate your predator is to surrender all advantage. As you have evolved into a strategic disappearing machine, expecting the same advancement from your predator is necessary. Consider your predator a mirror image of your own actions. As you appear invisible so shall your predator. As you employ tactics so shall your predator. As you move, your predator follows. Always view your predator as the shadow not far behind.

In The Art of Disappearing, view your predator as omnipotent!

Sun Tzu: These five heads should be familiar to every general: He Who Knows – Will be victorious; he who knows them not will fail.

Disappearing is to be broken down into three stages.  Pre-disappearing, Disappearing Day and Post Disappearing.

Pre-Disappearing is the know before you go! You must know and combat the vulnerable information you are leaving behind. You must know if the disappear plans you created can be compromised by a potential digital footprint. You must identify the what ifs!

Disappear Day (D-Day) the day of exposure. How will get from point A to point B without creating connections? When you walk out the door, assume you are under surveillance?

Post Disappearance, living as a disappeared person and avoiding the connections that can trace you. Always be aware of people, places and things that can connect to your here and now.

In The Art of Disappearing, you must know before you go!

Sun Tzu: The Art of War: Therefore, in your deliberations, when seeking to determine the military conditions, let them be made the basis of a comparison, in this wise:–

You will be hunted in numerous ways. It will begin by searching the information you left behind and then the hunt goes in any and every possible direction. This is why I state you make your decisions in black and white but you maneuver in a shade of gray. For the disappear world has too many variables to know all.

In The Art of Disappearing one must consider all possibilities!

Sun Tzu: Which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the Moral law?

Moral law is an idea created by those who control. This is not to say you should break the law or harm another. Be it stalkers or law enforcement, all predators must be viewed as one in the same. The both have the same objective, which is to hinder your freedom.

In The Art of Disappearing all predators are one!

Sun Tzu: Which of the two generals has most ability?

Anticipate that the predator has access to all the resources needed to hunt you. Anticipate your predator will go to the ends of the earth to capture you. View your predator as extreme, capable, with deep pockets and serious cunning.

In the Art of Disappearing never under estimate your predator!

Sun Tzu: With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth?

Being disappeared is simply an illusion. It is just as easy to find a person who is hiding five or five-thousand miles away. Such persons are only separated by space, time, walls and information. Realize that all things are one and yesterday, today and tomorrow are all equal parts of your disappearance. Meaning, that the footprints from yesterday, the connections today and the unknown tomorrow, makes no difference if you are five or five-thousand miles away.

In The Art of Disappearing, all is an illusion!

Sun Tzu: On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced?

Having a code can separate you from pass or fail. A code is the inner voice that dictates without emotions. A code is a council that will never lie to you, it will force you to make the decisions you may not want to make. All thoughts, decisions and action must fall under the code of what if.

In The Art of Disappearing, you must heed to your code!

Sun Tzu: Which army is stronger?

Again! If your predator was not more capable than you when you disappeared, assume they are now. As you have educated yourself on the ways of disappearing and deception. Assume that your predator is now educated on the ways of hunting.

In The Art of Disappearing, be stronger by feigning the weaker role!

Sun Tzu: On which side are officers and men more highly trained?

The hunter needs only one skill, hunting. You need many skills as a disappeared person. However, learning one hundred skills to its exact is impossible. Although, creating a code to live by and utilizing the what if in your thoughts, decisions and actions will be the closest you will come to mastering one hundred skills.

In The Art of Disappearing, mastering your code is mastering one hundred tactics!

Sun Tzu: In which army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment?

Enforcing your code and staying in the moment is a never-ending way of being. The worst of days must bring out the greatest of personal actions. The best of days cannot create complacency. No matter the mood or weather of the day, you are disappeared and must always stay within in that moment.

In The Art of Disappearing, the mood never dictates!

Sun Tzu: By means of these seven considerations I can forecast victory or defeat.

This is a sentence in a two-thousand-year-old book. You cannot forecast the future you can only anticipate possible outcomes. The disappear strategy is to have a move ready in order to avoid capture.

In The Art of Disappearing, words are only words!

Sun Tzu: The general that hearkens to my counsel and acts upon it, will conquer: let such a one be retained in command! The general that hearkens not to my counsel nor acts upon it, will suffer defeat:–let such a one be dismissed!

There are two types of criminals, those that get caught and those that do not. What is the difference between the two? One could say luck, which is probably correct. However, preplanning the crime is key. However, more important is planning the getaway.

In The Art of Disappearing is a planned art!

Sun Tzu: While heeding the profit of my counsel, avail yourself also of any helpful circumstances over and beyond the ordinary rules.

Reading books written by Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, von Clausewitz, Frank M. Ahearn and JJ Luna is all well and good but it is limited. However, an education in disappearing and deception can come by reading about the experiences of those who disappeared and failed.

In The Art of Disappearing books are just books!

Sun Tzu: According as circumstances are favorable, one should modify one’s plans.

Utilize information like pawns, rooks, knights and bishops on a chess board. Understand that no one move will outwit your enemy or win the game. It is a combination of malleable actions that will lead to victory.

In The Art of Disappearing you are the King of your world!

Sun Tzu: All warfare is based on deception.

Your weapon for survival in the disappear world is deception. You will not remain free if you do not master the skills of deception.

In The Art of Disappearing deception is a way of life!

Sun Tzu…. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

In pre-disappear you will exist in a perception and deception stage. How are the people around you perceiving you? Do they see a change in you? You may believe they are unaware, however, you cannot always be so confident. In addition, what if something occurs the day you plan to disappear and it must be postponed.

In The Art of Disappearing, perception is important!

Sun Tzu: Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.

Even two-thousand-years ago Sun Tzu knew that deception and disinformation was vital to wining a war. However, in your war you will not try to crush your predator. The success of your disappearance is measured by freedom, not necessarily by the downfall of your enemy.

I often state that disinformation is the most important tactic when it comes to disappearing. The reason for this is, if you do not create disinformation your predator will search the known information about you. The known information can be the road map to your present location. By creating disinformation, you make it more difficult to locate you.

Disinformation does not always need to be believable but it must be find-able by the predator. It does not matter if you are creating information about being in Fiji or Belize. Once the hunter locates the information it will play on their mind. They will question if the information was purposely created to look fake but perhaps it is real. Either way, they will search.

In The Art of Disappearing, disinformation is a necessity!

Sun Tzu: If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him.

Act as if your hunter is mammoth, live as if they have you pinned down and know that evasion is the only road to freedom. This is the mindset of being a disappeared person.

A simple act of deception can be the road to freedom. Your ex is hunting you in Paris, you purposely drop your wallet in a hotel. In the wallet there is a contact number for your ex. The hotel contacts you ex. Your ex goes to the hotel where you have dropped the wallet. This becomes your opportunity to escape.

In The Art of Disappearing, simple deception leads to freedom.

Sun Tzu: If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.

The disinformation you create will irritate your predator. However, caution yourself and do not become arrogant and believe in your own ego.

Sun Tzu: If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them.

In the disappear world your armed forces are your money and your identification. Being separated from either can be catastrophic. When the predators cannot locate the prey, they resort to, follow the money. There are two aspects of money, where you park your money and how you access your money. When you are in the hunt you need to be extremely cautious when it comes to accessing funds.

Having a solid identification is crucial to disappear survival. Your identification must always be kept on your person, not in the pocket of a carry bag.

In The Art of Disappearing one must always protect their armed forces!

Sun Tzu: Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

Think of your war as being that of Guerilla warfare. Guerilla warfare is for the smaller weaker armies who fights on their own terrain. However, the difference is, you do not fight on your own terrain, your fight is to protect the location of your terrain.

The first step to protecting your terrain is to become a Virtual Entity who has no connections to anything physical. This means the information from the past and present can never lead to something tangible. When the tangible becomes available to your prey, you become in the gravest of dangers.

In The Art of Disappearing one must avoid connections!

Sun Tzu: These military devices, leading to victory, must not be divulged beforehand.

Divulging your detailed disappear plans to another will only put you at jeopardy. The hunt for will involve your family and friends. The person you shared your disappear plans with may unknowingly share a piece of information that leads to you.

In The Art of Disappearing only one can keep a secret!

Sun Tzu: Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple where the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.

Planning the perfect disappearance is impossible. What is possible is to properly pre-plan your disappearance. As you make your plans always think of the past, present and future separately, and as one. This will keep the perspective that time, space, information and miles do not separate you from your predator.

In The Art of Disappearing, all is one!

By Frank M. Ahearn


The Vacancy of Disappearing

What if you had to disappear now? Just pick up and leave this instant, just bolt. Where is your passport and where is your cash? Not your debit cards or credit cards but the Euros and Benjamin’s? How would you leave, bus, plane, train, car, hitchhike or walk? Would you have time destroy and dump your computer or mobile? Do you have enough run time? Is there a safe house to crash at or will you risk a motel or a night on a park bench?

Are you truly capable of walking out the door and not looking back? Turning on the cold and leaving what was in the dust. Will you be able to vanish from those you know, those you loved or those you still love? Will a note be left on the table, a final call placed, or do you leave silently like a dark night? This is the threshold.

You are out the door and in the wind. What will you feel as you are in motion? Will it be fear of capture, guilt from your actions, exhilaration because freedom awaits, or perhaps regret? The emotions will wildly be spinning and your heart pumping fiercely. Will you be cool, calm and able to handle the emotions? Will it matter that some will think you are dead?

What now? How do you live? Is it safe? Will it be all you desired? Will you apply the discipline needed? When night comes and you are alone, will you be able to cope?  Will you survive the loneliness, the vacancy of disappearing?

Frank M. Ahearn
Author of: The Art of Disappearing: 199 Essential Privacy and Disappearing Tips

The Peanut Butter Cafe in Monaco

Last week I was out in a bar and met some new people and the usual introductions were traded. When it came to me, I hesitated and said I was a writer and stopped speaking. This created a huge lull in the conversation and my partner looked at me and joking asked if I wanted to contribute more. Honestly, I did not want to and so I avoided the whole Frank spiel. I think this was my ah-ha moment, where I realized that I am spent and it is time to move on from this business. In the past, I have stated that disappearing would be a limited run in my life. The difficult part is what next for Frank M. Ahearn? Do I cut it off completely, do I still write about disappearing, do I finish the current book I have been writing? Time will tell.

I know you are not here to read my rant but learn about privacy and disappearing. Well, this applies if you plan to disappear. The first step in disappearing is recognizing you need to disappear. This does not only apply to facing a predator but it could apply to your life or your profession. This is the how to disappear threshold moment, the knowing there must be an exodus of sorts. This is an internal and philosophical question of self which needs to be answered before you plan anything. Part of the questioning includes, can you put your world behind you and fall off that grid. For me, what do I do if I am not Professor Disappear or even scarier can I be something else? Leaving part of life behind does not guarantee one rises like a Phoenix.

Figuring out what next has always been a challenge for me. I have always sought choice and freedom, combined with some serious dreaming. If I had my druthers, I would be in a writers room in LA working on a TV show with Julie Plec or running an exotic Peanut Butter & Jelly café in Monaco. Or maybe, I will write a TV show about a retired privacy expert who runs a peanut butter café in Monaco or LA. If one is going to end a part of their life, they might as well dream in the beginning and then face the realities. Unfortunately, disappearing comes down to one fact, can you earn a living. Everything else is inconsequential because if you cannot pay the rent in LA or Monaco, you will not be able to build a life in such places.

The purpose is this writing is not so much about the first time you think about disappearing but the potential of a second disappearance occurring. What happens if two years into the disappearance you are unhappy with your life and you begin to question. Not so much the idea of returning to your old life but where next?

I disappeared from my life in the US and moved to Europe to write and work my privacy business. I have been fortunate and live the expat dream of sitting in terraza’s, cruising around Venice, Paris, Rome and other cool places. Basically I have been living like a bohemian. Here it is, two years later and something wild happened, I fell in love and this has changed everything.

The point is, if you are planning to disappear or are disappeared keep in mind that it all can change at any moment. This change can be because of money, love or disaster. So, in your planning or daily disappeared life think about the flexibility of change and the pursuit of not just your dreams but the ability to have choice because true freedom is having choice.

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

Disappearing from Disappearing

For years I have been obsessed with the idea of being number one in the disappearing world. I wanted to be the go to guy, the one who knew it all about disappearing. Maybe I do and maybe I do not. Either way I am feeling more like a creation, like a how to disappear reputation management.

Recently I have become involved in a relationship and have found myself being accountable for things I have stated online. Not that I fault my partner but the strangeness of my world generates a lot of curiosity. I found myself explaining that the person she reads about is a creation and not the person sitting across the table from her. I think she found this quite odd.

This conversation opened up some serious personal thought. What are we doing online when it comes to reputation management? Are we creating false images of ourselves, of what we want others to believe? It’s not truth but marketing and nothing more. It is strange writing about this considering I have done so much online disinformation.

Lately, I have been asking myself, what have I become. Will I be forever known as the disappear guy? I sure hope not but it is looking that way. I will end up like one of those child stars who can’t be recognized for anything else but.

I was in a class recently when a person asked if I have ever disappeared. I laughed it off like I wish. However, I think I am at the point where I want to disappear from the disappearing world. I have had my fill and it is time to become something else.

Frank M. Ahearn
Author of: The Art of Disappearing: 199 Essential Privacy and Disappearing Tips

How to Disappear Now!

If you had to disappear right here, right now what would you do? Would you hit the airport, bus station or drive off in your car? What wouldn’t you do? Go home, go to the bank or call family? Imagine that the need to disappear is urgent, your life and your freedom depends on this moment now.

Perhaps you planned well and stashed a walk-away bag (money, ID). What if that has been compromised? What if all disappear plans have been exposed? How do you react, how do you take action? Reacting is dangerous and your reactions can be anticipated by a predator. Create your actions not as a reaction based upon the scenario you were forced into but change the dynamics of your whole disappear strategy.  Perhaps you walk or hitch a ride out of town, you do something unexpected.

Your stalker will know certain anticipations about your reaction. You need to identify these ideas and not walk into them. The stalker may know of your friend across town, or the small private office you rented to plan the great escape. Think of the predator as being a mind reader who knows all. Nothing is safe, nowhere is safe – you must simply go with the clothes on your back and fall off the radar.

Going off the radar means you use nothing that can connect your identity. You do not rent a motel room or check into a hostel. You do not make any calls to anyone in your past. You couch surf or you sleep in a public space. You do not take public transportation but stick to the feet or hitching rides. You do not use anything that has an on or off button. You do not use anything that makes a connection, even a prepaid credit card. You must anticipate that all is compromised and nothing behind you is safe. The only course of action is to move forward and find a safe place to lay low. A safe place where you can re-plan your disappearance.

There here and now disappear puts you in the hunt. Your goal is to get out from the cross-hairs as quick as possible.

Frank M. Ahearn

Author of: The Art of Disappearing: 199 Essential Privacy and Disappearing Tips

How to Disappear From The Repo-Man

A chapter from an unpublished book – Repo-Deception

Some of us who have had the misfortune of getting our cars or boats repossessed know how much it sucks. I speak from personal experience. A few years back when I was going through my divorce my pockets took a serious hit and I got behind on my car loan and the repo-man showed up at my office.

My secretary was instructed to only call the auto finance company from a prepaid cell phone. Getting seriously behind on the payments I told my secretary to call the loan company and see if we can make some arrangement but make sure she only use the prepaid cell phone. Well she didn’t listen and used the fax line in the office. The finance company did not like the arrangements I suggested and they sent the repo guy who took my car hostage. They pulled my fax number off of their caller ID and identified the location of my office through a reverse listing at the phone company. Frank M. Ahearn king of skip tracing and master of deception duped by caller ID and a red head of a secretary.

The funny part of this story back in my wild days of skip tracing Harley Davidson was a client and I did the skip tracing for the delinquent accounts. Harley was aggressive they would finance their own bikes and a year later someone hits a rough patch and that fifteen-thousand dollar bike has actually increased in value unlike the crotch rockets. We located about thirty bikes a month they didn’t even bother searching for the Buells. I am sure revealing this could put some type of motor cycle fatwa on my head.

Some Harley searches were hardcore one guy had a plank of wood on his front stairs and at night rode his bike into the living groom. Another skip parked his bike in the middle of his backyard with three pit-bulls no repo-guy was climbing that fence. From business experience and work experience I learned no one likes giving up their wheels or boats.

Another such character did not have the luxury of loading his bike in the living room nor yard full of dogs. He rolled his Harley into his van, pad locked it parked it blocks away. We figured out who his finance company was on the van and discovered it to was out for repossession. The repo guy took the paper on the van and picked van with the Harley inside.

When the repo-man comes looking for your property they hit your home and work figuring the vehicle is in that vicinity. Some people think they are slick and park the vehicle a few blocks from the home or work but the repo-man knows this trick. Also some people will park the vehicle at one stop before or one stop past their home on a bus or train route. The soon to be repossessed then jump on the public transportation and the home or vehicle is not far off. The repo people know this trick too.

If you are looking to deceive the repo-man you need to take into consideration that they have all the information on your original application. This means they drive by the home and work places of the people you listed as references. They are aware that sometimes people trade automobiles with a friend or family member.

Typos Should Happen
Do you really want to put the correct information of references on applications?
Do you really want to put the correct in case of emergency number on your application?
It could be illegal to lie on applications however typos are honest mistakes.

If you are having some financial issues and think your car may hit repo status contact the finance company and provide them a new incase of emergency contact, new work and home address and phone numbers. Make them all bogus but do this much before the repo status, there not that dumb.

Never call the finance company from your home number
Never call the finance company from your cell phone
Never call the finance company from your work

You have to be cautious of your social media the repo-guy or skip tracer could start chatting with the people on your social networking sites. One of your friends or family members could accidently slip and mention they are meeting you at the bowling alley later for the Tuesday night games. Or you could have a photo of you and your bowling team Men With Balls and all the skip tracer needs to do is start contacting local bowling alleys to determine if your team bowls there and on what day or night.

If in Debt
Lock down or shut down ALL of your social networking accounts

Do Not Tweet
You might slip and mention your location

In my first book How to Disappear I write about the three keys to disappearing which are MISINFORMATION, DISINFORMATION and REFORMATION. The first tool of disappearing is MISINFORMATION which is to locate all information about you and either delete or deviate if possible. This is the offline information like phone contacts, utility contacts and anything else you can think of. This is where the skip tracer is going to start their search for you.

With the information the repo-man or skip tracer obtains they will make pretext calls to the people associated with you, perhaps as UPS or Dumb ASS Express claiming they have a water damaged package for you and need an updated contact or address.

Tell those around to NEVER give out your contact information

Someone contacts you claiming they are Dumb Ass Express refuse the package

The second tool for disappearing is DISINFORMATION and that is creating false trails for the person hunting you to follow. Think about if you do not want to be found it’s crucial to create deception. The third tool to disappearing is REFORMATION which is getting from point A to point B without leaving any trails. I guess the repo version of that would be keeping your car out reach from the repo-people until you get caught up on your bill.

Use could call your finance company and spoof your number to a different state
Call someone from your phone and the persons Caller ID displays the number that you intend them to see by simply changing the number in the Spoofcard app.

The most challenging part of being in the business of deception is sifting thought the email and finding the clients who are not straight up criminals interested in employing me to assist them in breaking the law. One such client was Frank Tromper who made mucho bucks flipping real-estate in Florida but didn’t seem to know when it was time to stop. Tromper is what I call Miami flash, the kind of guy who looks like he would be a guest star on Miami Vice. He had the flash cars, the gold Rolex, the woman and the house on the water. My new client had one interest and that was protecting his badass boat from the repo-man.

Tromper decided he was going to take advantage of his walk away plan and make his way to the Caribbean and eventually become a PT.

PT: Perpetual Traveler/Permanent Tourist

Before Mr. Tromper could make his way out of Dodge he had to deal with his crumbling affairs. He was behind on his boat payments and wanted to sell off some assets quickly so he could pay off his loan to the boat finance company and at least not have to worry about that when he executed his walk away plan.

Walk Away Plan
If life sour it’s what you do next

I told Frank to hire a techie who could sweep the boat for any GPS or tracking devices he may not know about on the boat. Which he did and so the goal was to figure out what to do with the boat to keep it safe from the repo-people.

Remember once is nice but twice is right when it comes to deception.

To be one hundred per cent Frank hired a second techie to confirm the results of the first techie. If you are having your home or office swept for bugs have two different companies perform the task. From years of experience I have heard some shitty stories where a private investigator would show up at a location and bullshit the client about sweeping a location. It’s one of those searches that if the investigator claims there is no bug or GPS you really have no way of confirming the search results. That is why it is worth it to spend the money and get a second opinion. That is what you would do with a medical issue.

Get a second opinion!

I suggested that Mr. Frank Tromper hold a contest where qualified boaters could win the opportunity to use his boat for a certain amount of time. Frank picked a few qualified individuals and took things a step further and did some background checks on them and handed over the keys. The boat was out of his slip and far from his Miami locale of where the repo-man and skip tracers would be searching. I didn’t leave it at that and hoped that the plan would simply work. I created some DIGITAL DUPLICITY.

Digital Duplicity is the act of being digitally misleading. Frank really was not big in the social networking world so prior to hiding the boat I set up a few social networking sites and in particular I used was Twitter. I figured the skip tracer looking for the boat would do a little digital skip tracing and find his Twitter. We created a bogus itinerary where it appeared that Frank was taking going to take his boat for a trip up the eastern sea board but in reality the boat was cruising around the Gulf Coast of Texas. To learn more about DIGITAL DUPLICITY go to that chapter.

Being compassionate and also at times being in the ruts with money I figured I would go a little deeper into how to avoid the repo-people. Anytime I need to call a credit card company, finance company or bank I use my prepaid cell phone. What most people do not realize is when you call a credit card company or finance company they keep track of the numbers you are call from just in case you default. Even if your number is blocked it still shows on their caller ID because it is a toll free number you dialed.

Test it out block your number by dialing *67 to block your caller ID, then call 800.444.4444 and hear it read back your phone number. This is known as an automatic number announcement (ANAC) which is telephone numbers phone company techs use to determine the number of the phone line they are calling from. If the number does not work search ANAC online for an updated number.

Also note that sometimes your finance companies and collection agencies will have a local area code number for you to dial. DO NOT dial that number from your home, cell or work it can be a number that is attached to a toll free number and still read your blocked call.

Collection agencies are just sperm of the earth and they try to harass people into paying them. Some agencies threaten you with arrest and possible jail time. Some collection agencies have been known to contact people posing as the IRS. How do I know because one such slime bucket contacted me and assumed I would be scared but I was not afraid of him because I knew he was full of shit!

This is a pretty cool story years ago my pockets were bare of when this collector contacted me and his number showed up on caller ID. He told me he was a revenuer with the IRS and wanted to discuss my bank account and it was important for me to tell him what bank in utilized. My answer was not very kind, he did not like what I said and he went off the hook and began threatening me with jail and such. What he didn’t realize is that minute we hung up I would be pretext the phone company and soon determine his location.

It is difficult to actually identify the location of a toll free number. They really do not have physical locations like your home or business number with a local area code and exchange. Toll free numbers are portable and can ring on any number you choose them to ring at. Lucky for me I can pretext and I located exactly where the collection agency was located. I also obtained every phone number they had and just as luck would have it they were located in New Jersey just like I was at the time.

This is prior to Google Earth days and I had to use a reverse directory book that listed addresses on the same street of the collection agency. There was a small café across the street and I pretexted the café as a telephone repairman and asked if they could tell me what the front of the building looked like that was across the street.

After I gathered my intelligence I waited about two hours and called into the collection agency and identified who I was. I told the guy that I am across the street at café and I am looking at the red door which was the entrance to their small office. I told the schmuck I pulled the plates to all the cars parked in their lot. This freaked the guy out and he began to apologize to me and I told him this not the end of our communications. I hung up and never heard from that collection agency again. Never be bullied by a repo-agent or collection agency.

What Creditors or Collectors Can Not Do
Threaten you
Curse at you
Bombard you will calls
Imply they are with law enforcement or government agency
Imply or threaten with arrest
Contact third parties about your debt
Cannot call before 8:00 am and after 9:00 pm

If you are having a problem with an aggressive collection agency contact and if there are several complaint about a company they will open a case file. Look at that Frank M. Ahearn suggesting you contact big brother for help.


A word of caution about hiding your boat plan or auto from the repo-man and finance company in some states the finance company can apply for a replevin warrant.

Replevin is an action or a writ issued to recover an item of personal property wrongfully taken. Replevin, sometimes known as “claim and delivery”, is an antiquated legal remedy in which a court requires a defendant to return specific goods to the plaintiff at the beginning of the action. The advantage of a writ (order) of replevin is that it deprives the defendant of the use of the property while the case is awaiting trial, therefore increasing the likelihood of a quick settlement.

Lessons not learned in blood are soon forgotten!””
Clyde Shelton

Frank M. Ahearn

Author of: The Art of Disappearing, According to Sun Tzu’s, Art of War: Book One: Laying Plans