How to disappear. Yup. Vanish without a trace.

How to disappear. Yup. Vanish without a trace.


Is it possible in this high-tech world to dump your current life – your credit cards, your connections, your identity – and vanish without a trace? Well, you wanted to know. But the spooks weren’t prepared to tell us how. Finally, we convinced ‘Anonymous Ant Esquire’ to research the art of disappearing.

As long as the police aren’t on your tail, vanishing from society isn’t (apparently) that hard to achieve. According to various not-so-reputable websites, the key is cash.

The general tip is to avoid putting your name on anything. (Like, der!) Buy prepaid cell phones and change them every few months. (I watch Sopranos, too, brainiacs.)

But if that gets tricky, apply for an Ecaid credit card, a nameless card stamped solely with an account number. It will stash your funds in an untraceable account. (What the?! Could the chatroom chatterbugs actually know what they’re talking about?)

Creating a new identity, according to the ‘experts’ once again, is where it gets tricky.

The most common way to start again once involved borrowing the identity of a dead person through a process called paperchasing or paper tripping.

Papertrippers would wander through cemeteries searching for the graves of dead people born around the same year they were. They would then write down the information on the headstone and use it to resurrect the dead child’s identity on paper – and assume it as their own.

The main problem now is that this method has been so widely used by career criminals that it’s now the most likely way to get caught.

Firstly, other identity seekers may have visited the same gravestone before you. (Do you really want to take the chance that you’ll be sharing your new identity with someone on the FP’s top ten most wanted list?)

Secondly, it’s something that the Federal Police have wised up to.

In short, taking on a new identity is complex but, thanks again to our nefarious friends on the internet, there are many dark (or at least morally grey) sites that offer new identity kits for a fist full of American dollars.

So, if the internet chatter is anything to go by, there are enough deadbeat dads and fugitives living the quiet life to prove that vanishing is very possible.

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James Tuckerman is one of Australia's most accomplished digital publishers. He's an entrepreneur, angel investor, consultant, coach and public speaker. He is best known for launching Anthill Magazine, in 2003, from the spare bedroom of his parents' home. He was then 26 years of age. In 2004 and 2005, he was named Best Small Publisher in Australia by the ABA (now Publishers Australia). In early 2009, he reinvented the Anthill business model, abandoning its print origins in favour of a 100% digital product. Within six-months, was listed by Nielsen Online Ratings among the Top 50 Business & Finance websites in Australia ( Since then, he has launched numerous digital ventures and helped other companies, large and small, make the transition online or helped them significantly improve their online commercial outcomes. To contact James, go to LinkedIn.