Monday, April 27, 2009

Three reasons to use a foreign ghost address

Personally, I use a ghost address in Spain’s Canary Islands, as do many of my friends. However, any foreign address will do as long as it is a legitimate address where incoming letters can either be sent on to you or scanned and transmitted via e-mail.


To keep your home address private, never include it on your letterheads or business cards. However, you may need to include a mailing address in case someone decides to send you a letter (or a check!). Therefore, list your foreign ghost address.


Title your car in the name of a limited liability company and give the LLC a “principal place of business” in a foreign land. If you later lend your car to someone who gets a serious citation (such as for outrunning the police!) and doesn’t tell you, at least it will not be traced back to you.


Foreign mail (such as from a Muslim country or from a bank in Liechtenstein) may draw undesired attention to you. Therefore, have all such mail sent to your foreign address. It can then be scanned and e-mailed to you.


If you list a principal place of business overseas, a U.S. subpoena demanding all records cannot be served at that address.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Five ways to keep your home address secret

1. Never, as long as you live, ever have mail delivered to your door again. Use a PO Box for personal letters and bills and a secret “ghost” address for sensitive mail such as passport delivery, real estate tax notices, and statements from faraway banks.

2. Despite the inconvenience, do not have pizza delivered to your door. If you allow that to happen even one time, any PI can get the address by calling the pizza company, pretending to be you, and asking what address is on file for your telephone number.

3. This one is difficult, but never allow an envelope or a package to be delivered to your home address. FedEx is said to share its files with the U.S. government and both FedEx and UPS tie your name to your home address in their databases.

4. Do not give your home address to a dentist, a doctor, a hospital, a car dealer, an optometrist, a supermarket (for the card), or to anyone else.

5. Do not allow your home address to be included on your driver’s license. Many if not all DMVs sell their lists to third parties. (In some states, they may require your home address for their records but will allow you to have a PO Box address printed on your license.)

BENEFIT: If someone knocks when you are not expecting a friend, why worry? It can’t be the mail carrier, the FedEx or UPS person, the pizza guy, or anyone else you need to talk to, right? You might even wish to put this sign on your front door:


The above information is taken from How to Be Invisible (Saint Martins Press).

Monday, April 13, 2009

How to protect yourself at night from burglars, rapists, and stalkers

Single women living alone, or wives whose husbands travel, will sleep far better at night if they have a secret place they can retreat to if trouble should come. In addition, all bedrooms should have solid-core doors with long-throw deadbolts. If you do not yet have this protection, I urge you to get it done with all possible speed.

Even if you are renting, you can have a carpenter build you some sort of furniture with a secret hiding place. If you already own your home, you may be able to turn a guest-room closet into a safe room.

If you are about to remodel or build, then locate a copy of Secret Rooms, Secret Compartments, by Jerry Dzindzeleta (Plastic comb binding, self-published, 1990). Don’t be put off by the unedited writing, the photo-copied pages, the typos, or the $29.95 price. Dzindzeleta gives detailed plans for secret places and spaces that are better than any others I have ever come across. My favorite is The Moving Closet. This closet can be constructed with both walls and ceiling made from single sheets of drywall or paneling, so imagine a burglar, a rapist or a stalker trying to figure that one out!

(This information is taken from the e-book Invisible Money.)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Stop looking for a job. Work for yourself!

There in only one way to keep your private life private (and stay out of the dreaded New Hires list). You must work for yourself. If you are (or plan to be) a carpenter, a sales person, an artist, an architect, an interior decorator, a hairdresser, or any similar profession where you can work alone, I suggest you do work alone. The same applies to starting your own small business. You may not get rich, but you can certainly shoot for $100,000 a year. That will be sufficient to live a simple, debt-free life.

In fact, the absolute best kinds of home-based businesses are those that can be run alone or just with help from family members. Many a small business, although successful in the beginning, has come to grief when the owner was tempted to expand.

Business writer Michael LeBoeuf, in his book The Perfect Business, lists some of the problems connected with hiring one or more employees:

* Your freedom and flexibility will be forever restricted.

* You must give up privacy when an outsider comes into your home.

* You are now responsible for bringing in more money to cover wages and benefits.

* The government will burden you with odious payments and record-keeping chores.

* If an employee fails to show up for work, the extra work will either have to be done by you, or it won’t get done at all.

* Every time someone quits, you have to start all over.

To the above, I would add one more caveat. Judging by what I read in the papers these days, if you have to fire a woman, she might come back to you with a charge of discrimination or harassment. If you fire a man, he might come back with a gun.

(This information is taken from the e-book SKIP COLLEGE: Go Into Business for Yourself.)