Monday, June 17, 2013

How to fill your prescription anonymously

I am posting a copy of my blog post from February 2009 again, because the system is still valid--at least in some cases.  (If your doctor has signed up with some computer system connected to a hospital, this may not work)

Just a few days ago I asked for a prescription from a new doctor.  ("Please give me a paper one, made out to J. Luna".)  No problem.  I took it to a pharmacy where I had never been before.  I was handed a form to fill out.  I said I already had the information and handed her a printed slip for "Joaquin" Luna with a complicated four-line address in Spain and a phone number that had way too many digits for a U.S. computer.  I told the clerk I was just visiting.

     "Where are you staying?"
     "With a friend," I said.  (My wife is quite a good friend!)
     "What's your friend's address?"
     "She would not want me to give it out,"
     "Okay, come back in 20 minutes, sir."

When I picked up the subscription I was amused to see the label:  Joaquin Luna, GENERAL DELIVERY, [city and state].

Here now is the original post from 2009:

The problem with prescriptions is that you lose your privacy when the pharmacist enters your name, address and telephone number into a database.

Step one. Tell the doctor to make your prescription out in your first initial and last name. Only once have I had a problem with this. When I got out to my car, I noticed that—despite my instructions—the doctor had nevertheless included my first name. I returned to the office, showed the prescription to the nurse at the counter, and said, “Doctor Jones told me he would make this to J. Luna but I see he forgot, and put in my first name. Please have him write it again to just J. Luna.” She disappeared into the back, and returned within minutes with the new prescription.

Step two: Select a new first name, one that begins with the same initial. For example, if your name is Dale Martin and your prescription reads D. Martin, you can use another name such as Dalton, Davis, Dean, Denton, Dick, Drake, or Dudley.

Step three: Choose a new address, phone number, and a new date of birth to go along with the new name.

Step four: Order your prescription at a pharmacy where you have never been before. For maximum security, prepare a business card on your computer with a foreign address and phone number. One of my consulting clients has business cards made up in a variation of his name, with an address in Spain’s Canary Islands. (The address is legitimate because he has a ghost address that is available on my website.) When a pharmacist sees the address, he or she usually just enters “Spain” and skips the telephone number.

Once you’ve gotten a prescription this way, you have two choices for the next time you need one filled. You can go back to the same place, use the same data (show the label on your previous bottle), and be prepared with an answer to a question such as “Oh, I see you are visiting again from …” Or, you can choose another first name, another date of birth, another address and phone number, and go to a different pharmacy.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Never open your door to a stranger!

For the past 14 years I have preached the same message in word and in print: HIDE YOUR HOME ADDRESS

That means that you never open your door unless you know who it is.  Since you will never know all the UPS, FedEx, or mail carriers, you must never open to any of them.

Sound too extreme?

Not to the ex-girlfriend of Prodromos Vasilopoulos, 23, of Athens, Greece.  According to an article in myfoxphilly, Vasilopoulos pretended to be a UPS delivery man to get into her apartment. He then brutally attacked and raped her several times. 

For those of you who do not already have my bestseller How to be Invisible, check out STAY PRIVATE: Hide your Home Address in Amazon's Kindle Store.  It not only contains the first four chapters of How to be Invisible, it also give you the opportunity to save hundreds of dollars on future purchases if you order How to be Invisible within the next ten days.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Flashing blue lights in my rear view mirror!

Just this morning, as I was pulling into a clinic, I spotted bright blue flashing lights in my rear view mirror. For the first time in my life (and I’ve been driving since the early 1940s!), I had no objection to the traffic stop.  Here’s why:

I am currently writing a new ebook, What to Say When a Cop Pulls You Over. However, I had not been pulled over for several years,  I therefore wished to see if my advice was still up to date.

As many of you readers know, for the maximum in privacy I suggest:

    1.  Use WA license plates (except in California).
    2.  Carry a driver’s license from another state 
          that you claim as your legal domicile.
    3.  Title your vehicle in a New Mexico LLC.
    4.  List an address in Spain’s Canary Islands 
         for the LLC.

When stopped, I lowered the window, put my hands on the steering wheel in the ten-to-two position, and greeted the WA State trooper with a smile. When asked for my driver’s license, registration and insurance, I explained that they were in the glove box.  He nodded permission and I got them out.

Trooper:  “This is the first time I have ever seen a car
                  with an address in Spain!”
JJL:          “Oh, there are quite a few on the road.”
                  (Namely, all mine, plus many of my clients.)
Trooper:     “Who owns the company?”
JJL:            “I do.”
Trooper:     “Do you live in (the faraway state shown
        on my DL)?
JJL:             “I travel back and forth, and also to the
                    Canary Islands.” (My license plate holders
                    read “Arrecife de Lanzarote, Canary islands.)

There were no more questions. He wrote me a ticket for not having my seat belt fastened, and was on his way.

True, the four steps I take to remain private are overkill for most of you readers, but #3 on the above list is a step that every last one of you should take.  What better time to order a New Mexico LLC than right now?  Pick up a ghost address to go with it!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

“The Internet is a Surveillance State”

If you think you can hide your Google searches, Facebook page, or smartphone use, think again. Read “The Internet is a Surveillance State” by Bruce Schneier (author of  Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust Society Needs to Survive).  Here are two quotes from Schneier’s internet article (underlining added):

“The Internet is a surveillance state. Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, and whether we like it or not, we're being tracked all the time. Google tracks us, both on its pages and on other pages it has access to. Facebook does the same; it even tracks non-Facebook users. Apple tracks us on our iPhones and iPads. One reporter used a tool called Collusion to track who was tracking him; 105 companies tracked his Internet use during one 36-hour period.”

“Facebook, for example, correlates your online behavior with your purchasing habits offline. And there's more. There's location data from your cell phone, there's a record of your movements from closed-circuit TVs.  This is ubiquitous surveillance: All of us being watched, all the time, and that data being stored forever. This is what a surveillance state looks like, and it's efficient beyond the wildest dreams of George Orwell.”

However, millions of persons need not worry.  Why not?

These happy campers do not carry a smartphone with them and never connect to the Internet. (Think about your grandparents…)  To communicate, they use snail mail.  Life goes on. :)

To read the complete Schneier article, click here:
The Internet is a Surveillance State