Frank Ahearn just may be the world's top expert on vanishing without a trace—either finding people who have done so or helping others pull off the trick. In a profile of him and his craft, the Times of London notes that the California man has gotten so many inquiries of late from folks in the financial sector that he's put out a new how-to pamphlet. "We're selling around 40 a week," he says.
Ahearn says many people looking to start anew, often for legitimate reasons such as fleeing an abusive husband, make dumb mistakes. “People use their frequent-flyer program to escape, not knowing that I can access that, along with their utility bills. People have no idea how many footprints they leave, how many connections they reveal.” Some tricks of the trade: He says it's relatively easy to set up an off-shore bank account and to use email for phone messages. And if you're buying plane tickets, use cash.
(Read more bank secrecy stories.)