How to Disappear – Go!

CHAPTER TEN – How to Disappear from Big Brother

In the STOP chapter, I explained the importance of STOPPING and walking away from your computer. The GO chapter is about finding and using computers and internet services that have no connection to you.

When I use the word connection, I mean that you have no direct link to the computer or internet connection. This does NOT mean the connection is untraceable. When I say connections, I mean online/digital connections and offline connections.

The reason I use the word connection is that people tend to forget that connections can create traces just as digital can create digital footprints. If you begin to see them as a whole or the same, you will most likely create fewer footprints.

Take Mr. Munich who I located in Nice. He started out in Munich and created a connection to Belfast. The Belfast apartment created a connection to an internet café and the internet café created a connection to Nice and Monaco.

The mistake Mr. Munich created was not thinking about his online and offline connections as a whole. He probably thought he was being smart not having an internet connection in the Belfast apartment. However, all this did was force me to walk the streets of Belfast searching for a connection he may have used.

Mr. Munich should have stood on the street in front of the Belfast internet café and asked himself if a connection with the internet café exists.

Keep in mind things tend to appear private, like an internet café two blocks from your home but in reality, it is not private and to a degree guilty by association. Remember paying cash and not using your name is not anonymous!

a·non·y·mous – əˈnänəməs/ – adjective: anonymous – (of a person) not identified by name; of unknown name. 

con·nec·tion – kəˈnekSHən/

noun: connection; plural noun: connections; noun: connexion; plural noun: connexions

a relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked or associated with something else.

Again, if Mr. Munich stood in front of the internet café and thought carefully about what he was about to do it is possible that he may have realized that the location was not safe.  He would have realized that there is a connection between the internet store and his apartment. There is not a digital connection but a walking connection, which is no different from a digital connection.

What Mr. Munich should have done is set up an internet connection in the Belfast apartment and spread the internet with some bogus traces. Instead of searching for hotels and exotic car rentals in Nice and Monaco at the Belfast internet café he should have searched in Belgrade. It is quite possible I would have been on a plane to Belgrade.

To connect to the internet Mr. Munich should have taken a train ride a few hours south to Dublin. From there find free internet service offered in many parts of the city and do his thing.  It is more than likely that I would not have discovered his disappearance to Monaco.

It is important to understand that the goal is to break or seriously distance your identity from the connections you utilize. That does not guarantee the connections will not be discovered but it will make it more difficult for BIG BROTHER or any predator to locate.

Let me shuffle around and talk about the evil twins in society, BIG BUSINESS and BIG BROTHER. Both of them want to know everything about you and neither care about your personal privacy. The snoopy BROTHERS also want to use your information to further their cause. One wants money and the other wants control.

Whether you like it or not we are small pawns in the big game of information- gathering. In my opinion, we have entered a dark era where governments are spying more on their citizens than ever before. East Berlin will go down as the amateurs of citizen spying and the world champions will be The United States of Fearica.

It is up to you to decide what information you keep private and what information you give away. It is also up to you to figure out how to keep your information private. Privacy is only as private as you make it. If you email compromising photos of yourself, it is equal to handing the postal worker the photos with and open envelope. If you email questions to your offshore banker, your government will know about it.

If you write information in your email that, you do not want to share publicly. That is equivalent to shouting it through a megaphone on your street corner. Other people have access to your communications, as simple as that. Privacy discretion begins with you and your actions.

We are being monitored twenty-four seven in various ways. When you turn on your light on in the morning the utility company knows you have most likely woken up. The cable company knows what you watch on TV and when you change the station. The internet company knows when you log on and what you surf. Your building manager knows when you step in the elevator and exit the building. The police know when you walk down the street. The subway police know which train station you enter and which station you exit. The building manager for the building you work at knows when you arrive. Your employer knows your internet habits and possibly the contents of your emails. Daily life has become intrusive and there seems to be no stopping in the future. Always remember there is a third party witnessing and recording your actions.

Where to Surf?

The unfortunate reality of disappearing is there is no 100% private place to surf and plan your disappearance. You must locate a place that has no connection to you. This is the best odds of safe surfing. Always keep in mind that technology changes each second of the day. The location you believe secure today will become the compromised location tomorrow, if not sooner.

GO Location

The GO location is where you will search and acquire your GO tools. From this point on, I want you to forget about the word digital and solely think connections.

The GO Tools – Large Mail Drop – Several Prepaid Debit Cards – Several Prepaid Cell Phones – Several Prepaid Calling Cards – Cheap Laptop or Tablet

Finding a mail drop in most countries is easy. I suggest not using a brand box store but a locally owned drop store. They are the stores that usually have boxes strewn all over the place and most likely will not take notice of you using the mail box as a stash.

The reason for using a mail drop is to stash your disappear gear and to keep it from other people’s hands. If you unknowingly allow others to have access to your phone or laptop, they could put a tracking device or keystroke software on your computer.

The spyware can blow your disappear plans out of the water. I would suggest using several mail drops so not to keep your gear in one location. This is smart in case you need to leave town quickly and one of your boxes are blown.

A note about prepaid credit/debit cards, there are two different types. One card you fill out an application, which has identifiers like, name, address, and social security number. The second card is more of a gift cards supplied by credit card companies. The gift cards you give cash to the cashier to load up the card with credit and the best part is there are no identifiers. However, keep in mind there is the store surveillance capturing the transaction.

Think Connections When Obtaining Tools

Never walk into a store yourself and purchase disappear tools! Remember CONNECTIONS! I would assume that 99.9% of retail locations have surveillance cameras. Do not think you are James Bond or Jason Bourne and try going into the store with a disguise unless you have no other choice.

What you do, is go to a city area that is bustling with people and pay a less fortunate individual a couple of bucks to go into the store and purchase your disappear gear. Do not tempt the minion and hand over a hundred-dollar bill for the purchase. They might disappear, on you.

Give only enough money to buy two phones at a clip and pay them their reward when the merchandise is in your hands. Do not stand in front of the store waiting for your merchandise because a camera could pick you up. Wait across the street out of eyeshot of surveillance cameras.

Be Smart About Your Choice in Minions!

Never, ever give money to a minor to purchase your disappear tools. An individual I spoke with paid a teenager to go into a store and buy a bunch of prepaid phones and several prepaid credit cards.  Standing behind the teen at the register was a plain-clothes detective who found the purchase odd. The detective followed the teen outside and observed him handing over the merchandise to a much older man. Even though there was, no law broken the person found himself in quite the awkward position.

When it comes to a laptop or tablet, buy a cheap small one that will fit in your mail drop. You will NOT register the computer. You will NOT check your real email or any connected email addresses. You will NOT do anything where you have to sign in with identifying information. This laptop is to search for your desired destination. 


Bring Tools to Home or Work – Have Automatic Wireless Connections – Use Identifiable Information – Never Create Connections

The predator hunting you down can make one hundred mistakes but you the prey cannot afford one mistake. Before you walk into a store, coffee shop or internet café to surf, stand outside and ask if you are creating a connection.

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


How to Disappear – Stop!

CHAPTER NINE – How to Disappear from Big Brother

Do not permit your internet connection to become your accomplice. One of the most serious mistakes disappear hopefuls commit when the idea of disappearing sparks in the mind is not stopping what they are doing and walking away from their computer.

There is no shortage of dumb people in the news. We have read about Mr. Dumbass who emails his son his new contact information after he fakes his death. Then there is Mrs. Idiot who emails her disappear plans to the lover that killed her husband. My favorite is Mr. Chainsaw Shovel Dumbass on the surveillance camera buying the murder tools with cash.

Cash Does Not Make You Anonymous!

Your internet connection is a rat and the worst partner in crime you could ever solicit. In the real world, some partners in crime are stand up guys and can take a pinch.

Once you entrust your internet connection with pieces of your disappear plan there is no turning back. Understand that your internet connection is the biggest rat in the world and will always dime you out! Your internet connection will never invoke the right to remain silent.

What happens is your internet history enters the digital witness protection program and waits to testify against you. There is no hit man capable of killing your internet history

The message of this chapter is to learn from stupid criminals. Stupid criminals leave traces and do not think beyond the crime. Stupid criminals usually believe they are the smartest one in the crime. The mindset and strategy to embrace is that the predator or BIG BROTHER is the smartest one in the room. By thinking this way, you will never under estimate their abilities.

STOP means stop! Stop all of your surfing and searching from your computers. You are probably thinking or hoping that I am going to lead you to an untraceable solution. Well, you are wrong.

Searching for the untraceable is a fool’s journey, it is the Holy Grail and Noah’s Ark and neither exist. For every software that touts untraceable, some geek is breaking the code. All those privacy software services and anonymous connections you signed up for are useless.

This is not to say that some badass hacker from Anonymous cannot create an untraceable connection. What I am saying is the average person reading this book does not have the technical skills to create their own untraceable connection. Nor could most test privacy software and determine if it truly is private. Using software that makes claims is only placing blind faith in a label. Unless you are a techie, geek keep to what you know.

For the moment, forget about where you are going to locate an untraceable computer and connection. It is time to clean up the digital trace you left behind. Meaning the digital dirt you created in the early stages of your disappear searching.

That would the curious photos of Bimini, airfare to Jamaica, year round weather in Buenos Aires, and banks in Finland and relationship sites in Riga. Trust me ninety-nine percent of you reading this book have digital flakes in the wake. I would wager that at least fifty percent of readers have typed how to disappear into a search engine on a traceable computer or connection.

In six months from now when one of you has faked their death law enforcement or an insurance investigator will obtain a history of IP addresses searched. Law Enforcement might be able to obtain the search terms entered into a search engine. When they discover the words how to disappear in your list the jig will be up and you will be in the hunt.

The information you searched about disappearing cannot be erased or undone. If you planned on faking your death, sorry dude but you are cooked.

If you planned on disappearing from a predator there is hope. You will need to get back on each of the traceable and identifiable computers and connections you utilized and create damage control.

Keep in mind there are two type of footprints created. One is the computer you used and the second is the internet connection you used.

Make a list of computers used and the locations where you accessed the internet. For example if you have a personal laptop you use at home and work, that is three connection. 

Personal Laptop – Home Connection – Work Connection 

If you used your personal laptop at the coffee shop on the corner and your sister’s home those places need to be added to your connection.

Personal Laptop – Home Connection – Work Connection – Coffee Shop Connection – Sister’s Connection

The same goes if you went to your Aunt Agnes’s for Thanksgiving and you searched for apartments in Caye Caulker on your smart phone. The important question is did you conduct the search via your cell phone wireless or did you jump on Aunt Agnes’s wireless connection?

It is vital you remember three key pieces. Hardware used, like phone or laptop. Connections used, home, work, cell phone and last but far from the least what destinations you searched. You certainly do not want to end up in any of those places.

Think about the various services like banks, cell carriers, web hosting and anything else that could lead to your downfall. Could you imagine if you disappeared to Fiji and six months later BIG BROTHER or another predator gets hold of your internet search history?

All it takes is one search forgotten to land yourself in the mouth of the lion. Always remember that if it turns on or off, it possibly has history!

The BIG BROTHER traceable list goes on and on and on and never ends. If you are in the hunt, I have no doubt that BIG Brother is peaking into your friends and family. I want you to also think geography and ask yourself if you searched the net at any public locations near your work.

Did you sip a latte in a café searching Chicago or eat burger while searching Bruges. Perhaps you surfed at the library down the block or at your sister’s home and brothers business.

Did you drive to an internet café? The GPS in your car will rat you out. Did you bring your cell phone with you when you searched from an internet café across town? If so your cell phone GPS could reveal the location. I am sure you left a dirty digital trail behind but wait there is more.

Have you flown on a plane lately? If so, did you use the onboard wireless? Surely, BIG BROTHER would not find out about that. Wrong! I have no doubt BIG BROTHER is gobbling up all internet use on planes. All those offshore banks you read about online are dead in the water. Think, think and think some more. Where did you surf from and how will BIG BROTHER find your digital trail or connection?

As you probably know at this point prior to my illustrious career in the disappearing and privacy world, I was a skip tracer and located people in all parts of the world for many a reasons.

One such client I remained in touch with is Mr. Roulette. He reached out to me and asked if I could locate some scoundrel that ran off with a few million euros. I am still waiting for my opportunity to run off with a few million euros myself. If you have, any ideas run them by me.

The subject, Mr. Munich had an office in downtown Munich and when I did some searching, I discovered he never had any internet services connected in his office. However, he did leave behind a few pieces of information that led me to Belfast.

Keep something in mind not having internet connected in your home or office only pushes a predator to search for your internet connection elsewhere. Do not leave that to fate, set up a bogus connection that the predator will discover.

After pounding the streets of Belfast for a few days, I was able to locate an apartment Mr. Munich rented. That apartment never had internet, phone or cable TV service connected. Mr. Munich was somewhat slick. So he thought.

Since the Munich office and Belfast apartment had no internet service one of two things were happening. He used an internet air card, hopped on someone else’s service or went to an internet café

Mr. Munich seemed like a smart criminal so I assumed he did not use a wireless connection he physically carried. If he were apprehended law, enforcement they would know his search history and this would bring him down.

While wandering the streets of Belfast I noticed a few internet places he could have utilized to do his surfing. I took a shot and went into an internet café that I assumed the Mr. Munich may have used. It was a small place and in close proximity, a total gamble on my part. I laid down three hundred euros in front of the woman working the cash register and I asked for a list of IP addresses accessed in past sixty days. The pink haired woman asked if I was serious, and I slid the cash her way. She was kind enough to print the IP’s numerical and then by date. From there I walked to a shipping store and faxed the list of IP’s to my third party service in Denmark.

My Denmark contact enlisted her friends to assist with the job of identifying the various information I was able to extract. One piece of information led to a bank in Monaco; I knew this had to be Mr. Munich. I doubt that any of the customers who used the Belfast internet cafes were checking their balances in Julius Baer.

The information I located was like a road map to Nice and Monaco. One particular group of searches was of interest to me. It was to an exotic car rental company and a particular hotel.

I hopped on a plane to Nice and visited the hotel but I was unable to locate Mr. Munich and could not get any information from the staff.

Next, I hit up the exotic car rental company. I knew they would not provide me with any information about who rented what car. Therefore, I inquired about the types of cars that were not currently available. I assumed that one of those cars would be the one Mr. Munich would be driving.

My next stop was to all the expensive restaurants and I spread a bunch of euros around to the valets. I asked them to keep an eye for a short man with a German accent driving a particular type of luxury car. The following day I received a call and sure enough, a valet identified Mr. Munich. I contacted my client who handled the matter from there on.

Perhaps Mr. Munich should have traveled further away from the Belfast apartment to do his online business. The searches to Nice and Monaco were so uncharacteristic of the Belfast neighborhood. It shot up red flags immediately. It would not have been a red flag if the information were from an internet café in a nice neighborhood in Paris.

I will assume you have created a list of all the compromised computers and locations. Therefore, after you have the list, go to each computer and create digital dirt. Which is digital deception you create and leave behind for others to find.

If you searched realtors, banks and other types of services in Jamaica or Dominica search deeper into both countries. Search singles websites, hospitals, airlines, expat communities and other information relevant to you.

If you searched, drivable locations do a few different searches on MapQuest. For example, if you live in Chicago and you searched Chicago to Phoenix. Look up airlines in Phoenix for flights to Mexico. Then search MapQuest for driving directions from Durango to Monterey, Mexico. Search hotels and banks in Monterey.

Do not forget to search restaurants, supermarkets and email the Chamber of Commerce with a few questions. The searching cannot be cursory, such as one search to the chamber of commerce. Also, search on different days and jump around from page to page.

Do more than surf. Open a few email accounts and do some emailing. Email the local Electric Company, Phone Company, hotels and car rental companies. Create dialogue and ask questions in the emails. Contact a local doctor and ask how you can transfer your medical records. Search YouTube for foreign language videos. The goal is to have the digital predator believe you have split to one of the compromised cities.

You should realize that since you searched your destination from compromised computers and connections there will be no disappearing to those places.

Some people talk too much. If you are the chatty type of fellow or dame, ask yourself if your lips have betrayed you and if you shared your disappearance or destination with another.

Think beyond random chatter. Do you have that dream place in mind that everyone knows about? You know what I mean, the poster of St. Kitts on your wall or travel books about Barcelona.

Are you the person who always talked about moving to Paris or Madrid? Are your computer screen photos of Lisbon? Perhaps you have that travel book of Geneva on your bookshelf. Look around your home and search for possible clues that could lead to your disappear city. You may not think it but something as silly as a refrigerator magnet of a city could be your downfall.

When Frank M. Ahearn disappears, his circle of people will know it will be on some street off Boulevard Raspail. They all know this because I share my dream. If you shared your dream destination with others, it is time to change up the dream.

Imagine BIG BROTHER banging on your friends door wanting to know where you went. Your friend is shaking at the idea that BIG BROTHER rang his bell. He has no clue where you went but they push harder. Your friend says all he knows is you had a photo of Bagua Grande, Peru on your refrigerator, busted!

Frank M. Ahearn
Author of: The Little Black Book of Skip Tracing

How To Be Free

Recently I met with a client in Munich and instead of talking about how to disappear, the conversation was about how to be free. We discussed the differences between liberty, independence, and autonomy –three slices of freedom. This client was different from most, she had a solid idea of what her freedom will be and she recognizes that freedom is the end game. Think of disappearing more as the bus ride out of town and freedom your city. Each strategy we discussed was measured with the idea of, will this make her free?

When I meet clients, and ask what it is they want, all say is they want to disappear. When asked to explain, they use examples like, perpetual traveler, permanent tourist, digital nomad, living off the grid, under the radar, five-flags, and expatriate. All catchy terms with exotic images but these are labels of freedom not necessarily real acts of freedom. Although, if any a digital nomad is probably the closest idea to being free. What I find that lacks in potential clients is, few talk about being free.

Labels can pigeon hole and one core philosophies will impede. There are slew of books about disappearing, being anonymous, hiding from the internet but most are tricks of the trade and not ways of life. Think about what will be your way of life, will being an expatriate in Luxembourg or Nice make you free? Is the five-flag theory real freedom or not? Will your business sustain being a digital nomad. Will the bohemian way of life make you happy? To a degree many of us want to create our own movable feast but that was another person’s life long ago. Think more about how to be free than how to disappear!

Frank M. Ahearn
Author of The Little Black Book of Skip Tracing