I want to start off by saying that disappearing is far harder now than it was a few decades ago. Before the internet was widely available, digital cameras, and inexpensive smartphones, tracking and tracing someone was nearly impossible unless you were very dedicated or had access to high-tech official gear.
In order to understand just what you can do to make yourself harder to find or trace, you need to realize the extent daily actions are tracked through various systems.
How To Disappear (As Much As Possible) and Deal With the Consequences
- 1Bank and credit cards
- 2Cars and trucks have low jacks
- 3Cell phones and computers listen and track
- 4Consider having accounts and property in a company name rather than your own.
- 5Avoid cameras whenever possible
- 6Wear clothing that doesn’t stand out
- 7Consider your hairstyle or any features that may stand out like tattoos, piercings, or prominent birthmarks
- 8Do not own a car or other form of transportation that requires a license, permit, or insurance.
- 9Gradually wean yourself off social media. If you want to disappear or start over, you will need to either give up social media entirely, or at least stop using it until after you are comfortable with a new identity.
- 10We don’t go out to restaurants or major events in town.
- 11Do not use cell phones unless it is a “burner phone”.
- 12Withdraw all your money from your bank over a time period. Doing so all at once may look suspicious.
- 13Be prepared for someone to search for you.
- 14Starting over is not easy but it can be done
- 15I got rid of a lot of photos and you should too if you want to start over.
- 16So is there anyway to really totally disappear?
- 17Choice 1 Destitution and homelessness
- 18Save up $50K-$500K and get passports for you and your family that allow you to live abroad.
- 19You may not be able to return so easily to your old life if you ever miss it.
- 21Taking a lot of steps to be anonymous or disappear could be seen as suspicious
Bank and credit cards
How to Disappear: Eras... Best Price: $2.80 Buy New $8.51 (as of 05:35 EST - Details) If you use any electronic means to pay for something, you can be assumed to be in a certain area. Some banks advise to let them know if you intend on traveling so they will know not to flag transactions. Even my small-town bank has a way to file a travel report online. I think it is very invasive to feel like you need to let your bank know if you go on a trip just so you can be assured they don’t block your transactions. It shows that they are watching every purchase you make.
Banking records make you easier to find so if you really want to disappear you will need to use cash or have money stashed in accounts that are hard to trace.
If you decide to “disappear” one of the first things the police will do when you are considered missing is to put a trace out to see if you have used any of your banking or credit card accounts or if it appears someone else has stolen, then and is using them. Regardless, every transaction is recorded.
Cars and trucks have low jacks
Cars and trucks have GPS trackers in them. This is why a car can be found so easily if it needs to be repossessed due to non-payment. If people really want to track you and you have a car, they could do it that way. You really cannot own a car if you want to remain as anonymous as possible. Older antique and vintage cars may not have any tracking devices in them but there are not that many cars left from the era of a car just being a car and not a series of sophisticated computer interfaces.
Cars and trucks can even be disabled remotely which is pretty frightening.
Cell phones and computers listen and track
If you have a smartphone, then you should know that Google knows exactly where you are at any given time. I know that when I get back from town, my phone is asking me how all the locations were that I shopped at. This is openly admitting that they are tracking movements all the time. They make no apologies about asking you for a review of the place they tracked you to.
It is not a coincidence that if you have a conversation with someone else near your phone or computer, you will get targeted advertising of things you discussed. If we mention a piece of farm equipment, both Matt and I will get ads for them later on. It is very creepy and honestly is not the best used of advertising dollars. If you buy a sprayer in town, then you certainly don’t need a sprayer advertised on your phone or comp but since your banking and conversations are not as private as you would like, you get ads for things you have already bought and might not buy again for a long time.
Consider having accounts and property in a company name rather than your own.
Shell companies or companies owning property rather than individuals is one way to keep things private. I can go on any county tax record site and discover who lives where or at least where they own property. If the name on a deed is a company, it can be impossible to tell who owns it without really digging into it a lot.
While I will not say that someone would not be able to trace a property or bank account back to you, what I am talking about will add an extra layer of security and privacy. The more layers of security you have the easier it is to keep a low profile.
Avoid cameras whenever possible
How to Be Invisible: P... Best Price: $6.87 Buy New $7.92 (as of 12:20 EST - Details) Cameras are everywhere so this is a very difficult thing to do. At the same time you can attempt to avoid areas where you know a lot of cameras are in place. If you have to be in an area with lots of cameras, then wear hats and glasses that make it harder to identify you. This can only offer you so much concealment but it does make it harder.
Some cameras are not as good as you might expect. Cheap security cameras only offer a certain level of resolution. Other factors such as a dirty lens or a poor internet connection can effect overall video quality sometimes but that is not something you want to rely on.
Wear clothing that doesn’t stand out
Basic colors and clothing styles are best if you want to blend in. This can depend on where you are living at the time or it may be something you have to vary a lot depending on the situations you face. If you are trying to blend into an area where a lot of the guys are wearing business suits for example, you would want to as well. In a regular neighborhood, jeans and t-shirt may be how to go. Be observant and learn to change your wardrobe as needed.