Learning How To Disappear


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. It’s 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 don’t tell you about the skip-tracer who sits in his office and is paid to find people who did what you are dreaming of.

A little tid-bit on skip-tracers, we do it because there is an adrenaline rush in what we do. What’s even better is I get to bill my client and make some money. As we say in my office, ‘its all about the Benjamins’. 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 and many other excellent ones that love the challenge of finding you. To skip-tracers it’s 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.

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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 them change it. Next month give them your cousin Henry’s 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.

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Go online and get yourself a Jfax 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. What’s 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 buy 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 you’re 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.

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May 19, 2010