Learning How To Disappear
By Frank M. Ahearn
|Most Saturday afternoons
I head to the local bookstore. I love to watch people reading books about
offshore banking, hiding assets and how to disappear. Itís usually
your typical middle-aged guy dreaming about a new life. I watch as
they get caught up in their imaginary world. Their eyes light up
at the thought of leaving all their troubles behind. Reading all
those great stories about beach-front living, escaping into oblivion, hiding
your assets, and not paying taxes. However, not one of those books shares
the flip-side. They donít tell you about the skip-tracer who sits
in his office and is paid to find people who did what you are dreaming
A little tid-bit on skip-tracers,
we do it because there is an adrenaline rush in what we do. Whatís even
better is I get to bill my client and make some money. As we say
in my office, Ďits all about the Benjaminsí. If your name comes across
my desk and the money is right you are my hunt. I will spend my day finding
your mistakes, be it through the utility company, the cable TV Company,
or that collect call from Cabo San Lucas to your sister Edith.
I have found many people from Boston to Bali. Usually I find them because
of the little mistakes they make before they departed or while basking
in the sun. Let me share a few thoughts with you about escaping. Here are
the usual mistakes: The woman from Beverly Hills who called her doctor
asking for her medical records to be shipped to Anquilla. A gentleman
from New Jersey who stole money from his company and hid in the Dominican
Republic and then had Barnes & Noble change his shipping address to
his beach-front condo. The list goes on and on. When you pick
up and leave to escape your creditors or for other reasons, there are companies
out there like Ahearn Group (www.ahearn.bz)
and many other excellent ones that love the challenge of finding you. To
skip-tracers itís a game we get paid to play. We can make as many mistakes
as we want; the one you make is the one that most likely leads us to you.
Sit back, take some notes and understand the game from my point of view.
|Frank Ahearn is considered the
leader in phone listings and international skip tracing. www.ahearn.bz
If you want to dissapear or to find someone who has disappeared, Frank
is the man to talk to. Visit his website for contact info
||Most people read a book
then pick up and go. They simply disconnect their services with no
forwarding address and leave. Big mistake; take your time and follow
the below steps for making your escape last. Okay first step, do not use
your home, work or cell-phone, and do not use your calling card. Do not
use any of your credit cards to purchase anything in the place you are
going to escape to. You should develop your plan at least six months
before you hit the road. In the meantime have all of your services,
cable, electric, phone bills forwarded to any GPO in the country.
Call those companies every month and find your balances and pay them.
Make sure all the bills go to different states. Have a little fun:
one month have them send it to Oshkosh the next to Bogota, New Jersey.
Let them know they have the wrong Social Security number on file and have
change it. Next month give them your cousin Henryís phone number in Toronto
in case they need to reach you. The key here is to load your account
with so much information you are creating misinformation.
Go online and get yourself a Jfax
(www.jfax.com) account. For $9.99 per
month you can get a phone number in any state or almost any country from
Jfax. When someone calls your Jfax number, which will have your personalized
recording on it, the message will be forwarded to your email address and
you will be able to retrieve that message from anywhere in the world.
Make sure the email address you give is a Yahoo or Hotmail address. Pay
for your Jfax account for at least one year. This way there will be no
transactions on your credit card in the coming months. Some skip-tracer
trying to identify your number will only be able to get an email address
from Jfax. Whatís also great about Jfax is you can fax directly from
the Internet if you need to. Do not do any of your searching from
your home or work computer. Go to an Internet café and do
all of your research there.
|Go by yourself to a
pre-paid cell-phone and never give anybody the number. Make sure you can
dial an international number with your cell-phone. If not, buy a
pre-paid calling card then throw it away when it expires, do not reload
it. With the pre-paid cell-phone get a phone number that has an area code
in another state. When you order your pre-pay cell-phone pay cash and give
them a different name. Never call anybody with that phone, the number
might show up on his or her caller ID. Start calling where youíre looking
to escape to from your pre-paid cell number or calling card. Dump
that phone every month, yes, the actual phone, and get yourself a new one.
Get a new cell-phone with a different number and a different area code
from the original phone. By doing this no one will be able to track where
you have called. Remember if you make one call from your home, work
or cousin's house that is all I need to locate you. Get yourself
a locker and leave all your tools in the locker, never bring them home
or to work. If you accidentally toss them in the trash, then someone
who is searching your trash will find them. When you are ready to escape
you can empty your locker and destroy all information that could leave
a trail straight to you.
Go online and get a mailbox from
Mailbox Etc. (www.mailboxetc.com).
Open up a corporation online in that state. Have all mail go to the above
address. Make that address your service of process and your registered
||When you have all your
corporate information. Take a trip to that state. When you
go to the bank, you will sit down and open an account. The person
opening the account will call Telecheck which is a service bank used to
search whether or not you have any overdrafts left over from other banks.
They will run your name and there will be a record of you in any state
that you've open an account in. So any skip-tracer with half a brain will
find that account and locate your mailbox at Mailbox Etc. Give the person
you open the account with your Mailbox Etc. address. Do not give them a
valid phone number or one of your pre-paid numbers. Like the song
says 867-5309 its one number you canít forget and itís a great conversation
piece with the banker. Tell them the number wonít be in service till next
Then contact Idealogic (www.idealogic.com)
in Canada and have them open a Canadian corporation for you. Give
Idealogic all your information from the above chosen state. Once
you receive all your Canadian information open an account with BMO (www.bmo.com)
which they should do via-mail or possibly online; if not, a visit to Montreal
is always great. Once you have all of the necessary papers have Idealogic,
BMO and your bank in the chosen state forward everything to your Mailbox
Etc. address. When all is said and done have all of your mail from
the Mailbox Etc. shipped to you, and when all papers are in hand from the
Mailbox Etc. forward them to New York, then from New York to Chicago, then
on to Atlanta, create a big loop. Do all your banking online, the bank
will be happy not to mail you your bank statements. Remember always
access your accounts from an Internet café.
You can then transfer money from
the US to Canada and then from Canada to your chosen offshore haven.
Belize is a good place - they do not adhere to MLAT (mutual legal assistance
treaty). Never use your ATM from your US account; never use your ATM from
your Canadian account. Use your Canadian and U.S. accounts as buffers
for your chosen offshore haven.
One time I was searching for an individual
who for the life of me I could not find: I could neither find a forwarding
address, nor any credit trace, nor transfer of motor vehicles, then it
dawned on me that this person must have flown to his destination. So I
checked the airlines and bingo, there it was: his frequent flyer account.
On his last trip he had miles added to his account and I knew exactly where
he went. Pay for your ticket in cash at the airport.
Donít use your frequent flier account.
Cancel your blockbuster membership. Do not transfer any of your magazine
subscriptions. If you are receiving any type of direct deposit from
the government, such as retirement money, do it through the account you
opened. Donít get a library card in your new location, do not get
cable service under your name. Do everything through the name of
your foreign corporation. Make sure your foreign corporation has
no similarities to your name or anything from your past.
Calling family and friends is a touchy
issue, depending on your personal situation. With technology today
you just donít know when you call someone from, say, Costa Rica, whether
or not your number shows up on their caller ID. If it does and they
happen to call you back, someone will be able to track your location.
All your effort and hard work will be thrown out the window. So if
you need to get in touch, get yourself another pre-paid cell-phone from
a different place and call those you need to speak to through your cell-phone.
Dump the phone every so often.
So the above are the basics of how
to disappear. Take your time, do your research and enjoy the beach.