How to Disappear: Erase Your Digital Footprint, Leave False Trails, And Vanish Without A Trace is a NY Times Bestseller written by Frank M. Ahearn who. When life becomes too much, Frank Ahearn can help you disappear. He’s not cheap; this New York-based skip-tracer turned skip-maker. Former private investigator Frank Ahearn used to be a “skip tracer,” Now he’s switched sides, and helps people to disappear without a trace.

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Former private investigator Frank Ahearn used to be a “skip tracer,” tracking down people for a living, like children who ahaern been to Michael Jackson’s Neverland.

Transcript for Frank Ahearn on Helping People Disappear | To the best of our KNOWLEDGE

But after he started having legal and ethical questions about his work, he switched sides, and now helps people avoid being found. He explains xhearn, and why, in his new book ” How to Disappear: We speak with Ahearn about his book and some of the tools he previously used to find people, such as the website Zabasearch. In the first step of your disappearing act, misinformation, you took what was out there on you and hid it from view.

Keep your hunter busy searching for you in the wrong place, agearn make the file on you as thick, frustrating, and expensive to detangle as possible.

When people pick up and disappear, one common and crucial mistake they make tto that they do not attempt to keep their hunters busy.

Think of it as con artistry in the name of self-defense. Like any good con, it consists of three parts: It looks real and will excite a skip tracer when he finds it.


Hooks are a great tool for victims of stalking and abuse. I once worked with a client named Vera, whose husband, the bow of her child, had beaten and threatened to kill her. He was graduating from a three-year stint in the gray bar motel, and even from prison he had attempted to terrorize her by sending anonymous, threatening letters.

How to Disappear

When his release date was nearing, he made it obvious that he was planning to come back ahearrn hurt her. She wanted to get the hell out of her hometown, so she got in touch with me. After we did some misinformation on her record, we dissappear a realistic and elaborate disinformation plan that would keep her ex busy and off her trail.

The first thing Vera and I did was send her off to a small town in the Midwest and locate an apartment for rent. We made sure that the apartment complex would run a credit check, creating an inquiry on her credit report.

We suspected the jailbird ex would persuade someone to run a credit report on her, and we knew he or an investigator would notice that inquiry from Sincere Realty in Buck, Oklahoma. That inquiry was our hook. The Line Vera and I knew that the minute the jailbird read the inquiry, he would be on a bus across the country, heading straight for Buck. So we created a line: We had Vera apply for utilities and phone service for the apartment she visited—even though she was not moving in, nor would she be there to activate the services.

We assumed the jailbird would hire a skip tracer or private investigator to help him find an apartment number. Did Vera not take the apartment, or did she move in with a roommate?

Q&A with author Frank Ahearn on the art of disappearing

The telephone company from which Vera applied for phone service asked for dissppear information and a contact phone number. We located a large company that was in the area and used that as her employment address.


Then we used a contact phone for the same company—but at another location, in a different city. We hoped that the ex and his hired goon would think she had transferred locations, and yet another dead-end search would begin.

Team Jailbird could pretext and skip-trace all over Oklahoma — they would never find Vera. Each of these searches was going to cost money—racking up an investigative bill in the hundreds, if not the thousands — and each would take time. The Sinker Before Vera hit the ddisappear to her new, undisclosed location, we opened up a small checking account at a random bank. Then she asked for a debit card, which I passed along to an associate of mine who travels all over the country.

That was our sinker: Perhaps the private investigator would call the banks and make the very illegal move of pretending to be Vera.

She might even do some preliminary investigating in these cities, wasting even more time and money. Even if the jailbird had limitless resources, the PI might be so frustrated at this point diisappear she gives up. Vera is still safe today, and you know what? We enjoyed giving her jailbird the finger.

Disinformation can be fun. Skip to main content.