Independent Living Presents

21 Cutting-Edge Strategies for Reclaiming Your Privacy from Snoops, Corporations, and Newly-Unleashed Government Busybodies

2010 Briefing

identity theft is an ever-growing threat to anyone who uses credit cards or has records on file with any business. and they will tell you people were fearful and suspicious – not only of government agents. where anyone and everyone may be deputized to act on behalf of the government. fraudsters sent bank customers fictitious bank correspondence and IRS forms in an attempt to trick them into disclosing their personal and banking data. Meanwhile. In another. Confidential Subscriber Briefing – Copyright 2010 . such as Social Security numbers and financial information. and sometimes even family. web site. and your family from government snoops and any number of information-age hoodlums who are actively trying to take away your privacy and freedom. This guide will show you how you can insulate yourself. The fear and paranoia engendered by such a system will reduce hard-to-track crimes such as tax cheating. but they fail to acknowledge that the IRS itself creates an environment in which all Americans are made more vulnerable to ID theft. tax preparers allegedly used information. whether they are criminals or not. or to get rewarded with money or a desperately needed job. IRS electronic files on taxpayers have been compromised). friends. your wealth. The IRS itself admits it is aware of at least two recent identity theft scams involving taxes or the IRS. Corporations. And it's the incomprehensibly dense tax code and ineptitude of IRS "customer service" personnel that forces millions of Americans to share highly sensitive information with professional tax-preparation services. or government agency (yes. but also of neighbors. You never knew who would be an informant for the secret police.2 21 Cutting-Edge Strategies for Reclaiming Your Privacy from Snoops. Friends turned in friends in order to save themselves from the wrath of the state.) But in the process it assaults everyone’s privacy. and Newly-Unleashed Government Busybodies Ask someone who lived under a Communist dictatorship what life was like. IRS spokesmen point their fingers at tax preparers. (Or so the politicians say. It's the IRS that requires the filing of documents with highly sensitive personal and financial information – just the sort that are attractive to identity thieves. In one. Some politicians currently in power in America (you can decide who) are trying to create a country of paid snitches and informants. from their clients' tax returns to commit identity theft.

Confidential Subscriber Briefing – Copyright 2010 . This can all help reduce the amount of “overhearing” a spy can do. however. When you're on vacation. Keep in mind that these days it is cheap and easy to purchase devices on eBay. What the big telecommunication corporations don’t tell you is that any time your cell phone is switched on. You can purchase both the phone and minutes in advance at a local drugstore. Cell phones are generally a far less secure form of communication than land phones. With the right technology. Leaving incoming or outgoing mail in an unlocked mailbox is not safe in this information age. or bank/brokerage/insurance statements can be as good as gold to an ID thief. 3. This will make it impossible for you to later be identified or linked to the call. request that the Post Office hold your mail or have a highly trustworthy neighbor retrieve it for you daily. and maybe even talking outdoors from time to time. yet pieces of mail that contain personal checks. and you don't have to undergo a credit check or give any identifying information to the company. or government agents to locate and listen in on your private conversations.3 1. credit card bills. keep it unplugged and powered down. Nobody in their right mind would leave unconcealed cash or jewelry in their mailbox. there are ways to send and receive mail more securely. or even at Radio Shack that will allow a snoop to tap your phone line – or even listen through your windows or walls. spies. Be wary of using your personal landline for private communications. address. at the local spy shop. cell phone signals can be intercepted from just about anywhere. your situation demands discussing important financial matters or confidential dealings while at home. Fortunately. softly moving from room to room. it can be tracked. When you are not using your cell phone. use a payphone and pay with either cash or a calling card purchased with cash. and Social Security number are more than likely linked to your account (they say for billing purposes) corporate snoops or coercive government agents can potentially track your every movement whenever you are carrying your phone while it is on. allowing you to talk in near privacy. 2. If you decide you need the convenience of a cell phone and want to retain some semblance of privacy. you can thwart a potential snoop by frequently shifting locations as you talk. For sensitive phone calls. Your landline is connected to your property and address. Only the removal of the phone's power adapter and battery can ensure that it can’t be tracked. If. making it easy for snoops. Since your name. consider buying a pre-paid “disposable” phone.

S. coat. Your password should not be any single word that can be found in the dictionary. then employ a strong cable lock to secure it and cover it with a towel. Like it or not some of your most important transactions probably occur over the Internet. If you must leave it in a room or office. or other object to make it harder to see. Never leave one in a car. or any computer that stores information about you. blanket. You can purchase a super heavy-duty galvanized steel mail box for about $200 at your local hardware store. although there is a chance that a thief could obtain a working key. Post Office mail-drop instead.). 4. If the wrong people were able to access your computer. they could wreak havoc on your life. It's unlikely that anyone would try to physically break into a mailbox at a monitored public facility. In public places. Of course placing outgoing mail in a roadside mailbox behind an unlocked tin door is also an invitation for identify theft. Don't place laptops in the overhead storage compartments of airplanes or buses. which are prime targets of thieves. Some of the most common and easy to hack passwords are listed below. The first line of defense for a computer is keeping it physically secure. keep physical contact with your laptop at all times. You should avoid them at all costs. including the trunk. You should drop your outgoing mail in an official U. the easiest way to steal private information from a computer is to gain physical access to it. cyberspace is expanding exponentially and computing power is leaping to new heights. Confidential Subscriber Briefing – Copyright 2010 .4 Protect incoming mail by purchasing a solid mailbox that allows mail to enter a secure compartment but can only be opened with a key. Often crooks disguised as fellow travelers will steal items from storage and then quickly leave the area with no one the wiser. If you travel with a laptop you are constantly in danger of having it snatched by a thief. While a lot has been made of the dangers of having computers accessed via an Internet connection. You can obtain more security by renting a mailbox through the Post Office or a commercial mailreceiving agency (such as Mail Boxes Etc. A boot password is more powerful than the login password that your operating system may give you the option of requiring. it should be a combination of letters and numbers that have no obvious meaning and therefore would never be guessed by anybody. A login password is useful for keeping out family members or co-workers while you are temporarily away and don't want to power down your machine. Once you are certain your computer is physically secure ensure it is set up with a “smart” boot password and/or login password so that someone can't get into your system by simply turning on your computer. As you are reading this. Keep your personal computer under real and digital lock and key. Rather. Security is especially important with laptops.

you (or someone else) can find deleted programs on a hard drive. One popular program that is available as a free download is Ad-Aware (www. 654321. computer.com) for wipe programs or “file shredders. Most people think that when they delete a file or program. and Social Security numbers. secret. but they generally consist of a small program that can be secretly introduced or a small piece of hardware that can be inserted into a computer. ensure they are gone forever. mypass.” Confidential Subscriber Briefing – Copyright 2010 .download. pass. Avoid the government’s “keystroke logging” programs and corporate spyware by never inserting unknown hardware into your computer or downloading unknown software. If you feel you still must take further precautions. 00000000. These “trojans” have a variety of configurations. If you find an extra piece of hardware like a thumb drive or mouse lying around. Internet.com). Beware of accidently downloading spyware embedded in programs such as toolbars that attach to web browsers (often installing themselves along with other software supposedly to “enhance” your browsing experience). 12345. Consult your local computer shop for guidance on choosing the right firewall for you. password. When you delete files. family secrets. But with the right software. 123456789. you can obtain protection from spyware by installing a firewall which is a complex program that will attempt to keep outside systems from accessing your computer.5 Admin. Once it has burrowed its way onto your personal computer the “trojan” program is capable of recording each and every keystroke made – including valuable passwords. asdf. love. do not connect it to your computer until you have confirmed its source. It has already become a tried-and-true method for government agents to gain access to private computer systems by leaving a thumb drive with a preloaded malicious spyware software lying out for an unsuspecting victim to discover. Generally the longer the password. Password. The only real way to be sure that sensitive data won't end up in the wrong hands is to get rid of it.lavasoftusa. godblessyou. super. Look on popular download sites (like www. Luckily there are many programs that can detect and erase spyware. abc123. The good news is that the other secret the public is seldom told about is that you can truly erase data by recording over the same spot several times –a process known as “wiping”. 6. 1234. A major threat to your electronic privacy is the keystroke logging programs used by snoops and FBI agents. it’s erased from the computer’s memory. 5. the more secure it is.

don’t use one address for everything. and perhaps one or two others for your personal communications with family and friends. call in a techie (and watch what he’s doing to keep him honest). Be careful what you tell your doctor. These records are critically important and may affect important parts of your life such as whether you or a child will be admitted to certain educational institutions or whether or not your boss will Confidential Subscriber Briefing – Copyright 2010 . making it easy for just about anyone with dishonorable intentions to get ahold of your most sensitive data. you need to “wipe” them clean multiple times. This can be done with a number of different software programs. Your medical records may include: information about family relationships (including data on adopted children). you can then send an email message. most people don't realize how "open" their medical records already are. Running data removal software can be a somewhat involved process. and it can only be tracked back to the point that you sent it from.heidi. data could still be recovered from it which may include passwords. web sites visited. To remove all remnants of old files from your hard drive. Another way to conceal your identity is to send email from a public terminal such as a library or a kiosk available at cyber cafes and airports. With Obamacare on its way. or dispose of a used computer unless and until you have wiped the hard drive clean. feelings. or emotions expressed by your doctor including his impressions and speculations on you which may be totally unfounded. or any substance abuse.ie). another for online shopping. When it comes to email. 7. but you can use an alias. so if you are not computer savvy. 8. information on children conceived artificially or whether a patient is infertile. Even if you delete all the files. and even if you re-format the hard drive. Each new account you create (and each old one you abandon) makes it that much harder for a snoop to find out information about you from old emails that may be stored in a variety of places. Use one account for messages sent to public groups. By opening an email account over the Internet from one of these machines. Even without the legislation’s new privacy threats. It can also include the private thoughts. When setting up the account the email server will ask you for your real name.6 Never sell. or just about anything else that was saved onto the disk and never securely removed. Have several different accounts set up. has had sexually transmitted diseases. Approach email security with a multi-pronged strategy. the federal government has expanded its effort to compile data about patients throughout the country – including you. One free option: Eraser (eraser. give away. details of sexual behavior. another for business/work. President Obama and the Democrats are pushing to nationalize and computerize all medical record-keeping. personal documents.

and it's a good idea to check on this information from time to time to make sure nothing erroneous winds up in your file. Medical errors are surprisingly widespread. 9. Your personal information will enable a business to send you junk mail. call you.” Your Social Security number should be left blank or filled in with "N/A. Governments want it so that they can streamline arrests and prosecutions and make sure they obtain the tax compliance they require from each citizen. When asked for non-pertinent yet private information the most important skill to learn when it comes to safeguarding your personal information is the skill of saying "no. In an effort to cut down on fraud and other costs. use initials or an alias. Check your MIB medical file. it's generally not a good idea to use your full legal name. and one tiny error in your medical file could cause you to lose your insurance or be misdiagnosed. and/or email you.7 decide to hire you (since sick employees are bad for the company health program and less apt to show up for work consistently). You can't assume that what you tell your doctor won't be used against you by an insurance company.com) or calling 866-692-6901." "unavailable." "pending. Businesses want your data so they can create consumer profiles and learn about how you are likely to spend your money.mib. You should also find a doctor who won't demand your Social Security number or who will let you use a different identifying number instead. For any form that asks for your "home address. The sooner you can spot a problem. insurance companies have compiled data on millions of patients and consolidated all the information for easy access. this minimalist strategy will work just fine. if you have one. Confidential Subscriber Briefing – Copyright 2010 . but not impossible. chances are good that the so-called Medical Information Bureau (MIB) has one or more files on your medical history. You can see your file by visiting MIB’s website (www. Safeguard your personal information by just saying “no." or something similar. If he asks about activities or lifestyle choices that you'd rather keep private. the more likely it can be fixed before something goes wrong. you can just write in "unlisted. If you have health or life insurance." When asked to provide your name. then you are within your rights to decline to answer." you'll typically enter your rental mailbox address. Ditto for driver's license numbers. Instead. For your phone number. That’s difficult to find these days. 10. or the government. an employer. You have a right to see that file. You should give him all the information he needs to treat you. but no more.” Your personal information is just as enticing to businesses as it is to governments. Often.

and many companies would rather not bother with the task. When you dispute an entry on your credit report. Don't even bother talking to them. accurate.8 Other times it won’t. the bureau must investigate your claim. birth date. or through the phone you simple have to write them a letter invoking your legal right to privacy. this is all but impossible post-Patriot Act. you should take the time to order one and look it over carefully. and it is your right to have it corrected under Section 611 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. however. telemarketers. Federal fair debt collection standards stipulate that "without the prior consent of a consumer given directly to the debt collector or the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction. If the party who made the entry fails to show evidence that it is. All you have to do is invoke your rights (the bill collectors will count on you being unaware of them). Monitor your credit report periodically. Often disputes will be resolved in your favor – simply because dealing with disputes takes up valuable time. address. you may not attempt to reach Confidential Subscriber Briefing – Copyright 2010 . If you haven't viewed a copy of your credit report recently. a debt collector may not communicate with a consumer in connection with the collection of debt at any unusual time or place or at a time or place known or which should be known to be inconvenient to the consumer. 877322-8228. 11. and junk mail syndicates. It used to be that you could find a local banker who would let you open an account with no SSN. There's an easy and effective way to get bill collectors to leave you alone. you are entitled to receive a free copy of your credit report annually. If you spot an error anywhere on your report. Learn to spot identity theft before a thief wreaks havoc in your life. Contact: Annual Credit Report Request Service. it is up to you to identify and dispute it. P. Credit bureaus are notorious for making mistakes and for unwittingly reporting false information given to them by creditors.com Don’t assume that everything on your report is accurate.annualcreditreport. and Social Security number. no account can legally be opened without the person's name. As of October 1. www. you don't have to answer any questions bill collectors ask of you over the phone." If bill collectors are harassing you at home.O. 12. in fact. Exercise your rights against pesky bill collectors. First of all. then the entry cannot remain on your report. And you shouldn't. You should write something like this: The purpose of this letter is to inform you that calling me or visiting me at my place of work or at my home at any time is inconvenient to me. 2003. Box 105281 Atlanta. at work. GA 30348-5281. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Therefore.

There is a simple way to prevent important documents. including old credit and debit cards.donotcall. in itself. most magazines will rent their subscriber lists to marketers. When faced with this demand. For example. and "R. When hassled by a telemarketer inform him/her that you wish your telephone number to be placed on their do-not-call list. Anything with your address or any other identifying information printed on it should be regarded as sensitive. A quality cross-cut shredder is cheap relative to the protection it can provide against nosey neighbors. Smith" for an order placed from a catalog.S." you could enter your name as "Ralph A. Federal legislation has made it much easier to rid yourself of bothersome telemarketers. To register your number on a national do not call list. “curious” garbage collectors. Courts have ruled that trash is no longer private property once it's set out in the street or placed in a dumpster. and other potential Confidential Subscriber Briefing – Copyright 2010 . is not even illegal. banks. stealthy snoops. You can create "tracking codes" when you subscribe to magazines or request other materials through the mail. And it can give you the peace of mind of knowing that sensitive documents have been destroyed. if your name were "Ralph Allen Smith.A.gov. 13. you'll know who the culprit is by how your name is spelled on the mailings. insurance companies. from being used as weapons of mass financial destruction. vindictive ex-spouses.000 under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (Section 813). Then. You can reduce the amount of junk mail you receive almost immediately by avoiding giving out personal information when it isn't necessary. But if bill collectors continue to harass you. consult a lawyer. This will almost certainly work. Shred them! A personal paper shredder is inexpensive and easy to operate. Unless you tell them not to. And that. "Ralph Allan Smith" for another. call the customer service department of the business selling your data and request that your information stop being marketed to other companies. or utility companies. Failure to do so is a crime. dial 888-382-1222 or log on to www. you are subject to civil liability of up to $500. Smith" for one magazine subscription.9 me by phone or by visiting my home or workplace. Don’t make the mistake of casually tossing in the trash sensitive documents such as tax records or statements from credit card companies. mail only. If you start getting loads of junk mail. You may communicate with me via U. Don't just toss it – shred it! Stealing your identity can be as simple as going through your trash. the telemarketer is legally required to remove your number from their call list. If you fail to comply with this request.

000. but of anyone who happens to engage in financial transactions over $10. in times like these.000 (like money orders or cashier’s checks. Doing so may jeopardize your financial privacy and security by triggering currency transaction reports to be filed with the U. you can barter with gold and silver coins or rounds. your accounts could be frozen by the government. total surveillance economy by owning hard. be sure to ask the dealer about what/when/how certain transactions will be reported. locking you out from your own money while you are being investigated for “suspicious activities.000 face value – approximately $130. If a computer glitch or an authoritarian government agency prevents you from using your electronic money.000 of current value. only pre-1965 “junk” silver coins are subject to reporting on an IRS Form 1099. 15. You can protect yourself from being a hapless pawn in a future centrally controlled. Of common silver products.S. The problem is that our currency is continually being devalued by inflation caused by our corrupt cash-printing politicians. very dangerous. The hastily passed USA Patriot Act of 2001 contains provisions that make it easier for government agents to track and seize the assets not only of suspected terrorists. Having all of your money on deposit and on record with a financial institution is. So a word to the wise: Be careful whenever withdrawing more than (or close to) $10. unemployed dumpster divers rummaging for anything they can use or sell. Confidential Subscriber Briefing – Copyright 2010 . In a digital age a little bit of information about you and your finances could clear out your bank accounts in just an instant. liquid assets such as gold and silver coins. government. Just as quickly. Sales of silver bullion rounds and bars do not trigger Form 1099 filing requirement.” Your deposits could also be garnished by the IRS or a judgment creditor. including random. but not personal checks). and only in quantities more than $10. Responsible coin dealers generally only report the sale of precious metals in extremely rare circumstances. When buying precious metals. Be mindful of privacy risks associated with transactions of more than $10.000 in size and payment is made with actual cash (green money) or multiple cash instruments totaling more than $10. Stashing away hundred-dollar bills where no one knows about them does give you some measure of financial privacy.10 prying eyes. Keep your financial portfolio out of the reach of the government and greedy lawyers by investing in untraceable wealth such as gold and silver.S.000. minted gold coins such as the American Eagle (but foreign minted gold coins do). Neither do U.000 in cash from a bank account. Privacy-minded dealers do not report purchases except when the transaction is larger than $10. 14.

If you do decide to become a tax renegade. four times as many auditors to personally scrutinize your every 1040 entry against thousands of pages of impenetrable tax code. like private property rights. yet we are all required to sign. understands it. four times as many gun-toting Special Agents to raid small businesses and terrorize families that may be behind on their taxes. It just isn't so. four times as many IRS computers to acquire and tabulate data on your financial life.S. He was instead lamenting what he sees as collection obstacles – you know.” he wasn't referring to the layers and layers of oppressive rules and regulations that torment honest citizens and stifle entrepreneurship. As inane and crooked as the tax system is. Yet these arguments. Talk about a catch-22! When President Barack Obama recently vowed to fix a “broken tax system.. and the legal presumption of innocence. and your family from being targeted. under penalty of perjury. bank privacy protections. realize that there's no formula you can follow to insulate yourself from the IRS's wrath. Tax schemes that promise you tax freedom if you just send a special letter to the IRS or cite a particular court case are fraudulent.. you need to take steps to protect your assets. He aims to quadruple funding for “tax compliance” over the course of his administration! Just imagine. you are still better off ignoring popular tax evasion schemes peddled by con men who say they have found some legal loophole that will get you out of paying taxes.. The U. Select a reputable tax professional in order to avoid tax scams and defend yourself against the coming wave of IRS abuse.. and variations of them. yourself.11 Precious metals are the only asset class in the world of investing that offers true privacy.” proposes an unprecedented (and unconstitutional) IRS enforcement jihad of the same old madness-inducing monstrosity of a tax code. the president supposedly of “change. continue to be promoted by tax protesters who insist they have the magic words you can use to repel the IRS forever. The President has asked Congress to nearly double the Internal Revenue Service enforcement budget. Confidential Subscriber Briefing – Copyright 2010 . including IRS agents. due-process guarantees. No one.. They've been presented in court. Your precious metals can largely remain invisible to the outside world – if purchased and handled very carefully. that our tax returns comply with it.. tax code is perhaps the biggest scam being perpetrated on the American people. 16. Each of these schemes shares something in common: They don't work. and they've been rejected over and over again. In the environment of an increasingly powerful and aggressive IRS. Obama.

However. the single biggest audit trigger is inaccuracy. Forms are riddled with obvious errors or omissions. Legitimate deductions rarely trigger an audit. you won't be among the roughly 1. burglars.5% of taxpayers (this number is rising) who are audited every year. 17. Avoid IRS audit triggers. Forms are not completely filled out.). then do so in a separate mailing -. Reported income is less than that indicated by tax documents (W2 forms. 1090 forms. Chances are good that if your numbers raise no suspicions with IRS. It will cost you to have your taxes professionally prepared. Confidential Subscriber Briefing – Copyright 2010 . Such attacks can be successful with minimum expenditure of time and energy by the criminal.better yet. you could very well spare yourself much greater costs and headaches in the long run.12 It is a good idea to work with a reputable. However. Among the most common red flags are:     Required forms are missing.000" instead of "$4.e. Lock up smartly and guard your keys. implying the filer is just guessing or outright making up the figures.” 18. So don't try to alter or scale down your legitimate deductions just to make them appear more “normal. Most burglars will physically attack the door and lock. if you want to express your displeasure to the IRS for all it has done to erode your freedom. depending solely on the government to protect your property and your family is foolish. do so anonymously).997"). IRS computers and bureaucrats do look for "red flags" that suggest (rightly or wrongly) a taxpayer may be fudging or exaggerating or underreporting. seasoned accountant when it comes time to do your taxes. by spending the money.   As you can surmise. Tax-protest literature or anti-IRS comments are included with a return (anyone who goes this route is begging to be audited. An income in excess of $100. Your home may be your castle.. but. The government is supposed to protect our property rights from threats.All figures are "round" numbers (i. You reduce your chances of being audited when your return is prepared and signed by a tax professional (a CPA or enrolled agent). You have to build your own fortress around your home. etc.000 is reported – this factor alone more than doubles the likelihood of being subjected to an audit. or even the United States government to respect your right to reign over it. but don't count on snoops. "$5.

Since a determined burglar (as well as an intruder trying to gather dirt on you) will be able to defeat a lock if he has enough time and can work unobserved. Such a door is strong enough to stop a burglar or at least make his job tough enough that he'll draw the attention of a neighbor or someone inside the house. virtually every lock on the market today can be defeated by a technique known as drilling. If these fit into the style of the building. If you're concerned about drilling and are willing to pay a bit more for your door locks. it will also give you the warning you need to protect your family. your job is to make life miserable for him if he manages such a stunt. you need to either place an alarm sensor on the opening or make the entrance impossible to use. Better yet. or a burglar alarm. Clear heavy brush and trim shrubs. The criminal drills out the key barrel and then retracts the dead bolt or latch with a screwdriver. Be sure bars are mounted with one-way screws so they can't be easily removed. A house with a good alarm is at least three times less likely to be burglarized than is a home without an alarm system Confidential Subscriber Briefing – Copyright 2010 . Not only will this discourage an intruder. You should take a quick trip around the outside of your home with a critical eye toward any points that a burglar might use to get inside. Some plants can be employed to create natural barriers around your property. Unfortunately. About the only way to defeat such burglars is to use a secondary line of defense like an inner latch. five minutes is an excessive amount of time for a criminal to expose himself. hung in a metal or hardwood frame.13 The first line of defense is a quality door made of metal-clad or solid hardwood. Cactus plants. This is carried out with a cordless drill and a hardened drill bit. This may not sound like much time. 19. So the first thing to do with locks on your home is be sure that only members of your family or highly trusted friends have copies. But given the noise. the best locks in the world won't help you if someone else has the key to them. some of the more expensive locks are able to withstand drilling for five minutes or more before being defeated. You may be able to have decorative iron bars added without wrecking the appearance of the structure. invest in relatively inexpensive lamps with integral motion sensors that switch the lights on when a moving body approaches them. Create defenses around your house and be prepared to exercise your right to self-defense. Once you've located these points. Of course. rose bushes. you can exploit them to add security. The best way to do this is with a good alarm system. Add some outdoor floodlights. and thorns of various types all will discourage burglars from entering areas that might otherwise provide easy access to your house or business. These locks defeat most drilling-style attacks simply by outlasting the criminal. multiple deadbolts (to slow him down). You should do everything you can to deprive intruders of potential hiding places around your home.

Hide your valuables in places a potential thief would hesitate to explore. At night this means lights that go on or off in various rooms of the house. or other material that looks valuable but in fact isn't. it should always look like someone is at your home. During the day and perhaps at night as well. These include: the refrigerator. knowing who is at the door before you open it is an important security plus. important papers. You may wish to add stun guns. which has the added plus of allowing you to detect intrusions that occur when you are away). But don’t be predictable in your hiding places. presents dangers that most of us have been Confidential Subscriber Briefing – Copyright 2010 . this is easily achieved with a few lights on timers. especially if it is electrified. For this reason. The burglar may take it and run or spend precious time trying to break into it. Try hiding them near or around heavy machinery. some foreign or unusual coins that appear to be valuable. Inside the safe. blank CD-Rs. One good solution is a peep hole in the front door (or a TV monitor if you wish to go high-tech.” and government agents prefer to break in to an empty house. But if you feel your life or the life of a family member is in immediate danger. Hide or cache your valuables. While most intrusions will occur when you are away from your home. Likewise. One problem with home safes is that they indicate to an intruder where the valuables are. You could play head games with would-be burglars by placing a cheap decoy safe in a conspicuous location.14 Burglars. “detectives. You should also arrange the inside of your home so it is difficult for thieves to find your valuables. like it or not a gun may be the only thing standing between you and a thug looking for an easy victim during a time of lawlessness. If the wrong guy is at the door. costume jewelry. don't hesitate to respond with lethal force. Set things up in your house so anything worth stealing is hard or impossible to find. however. there are key places they typically check. thereby limiting his operation time and increase his chances of being apprehended by the police. the master bedroom closet. Tasers. keep perhaps a non-working gun. a TV or radio should be left on to create the illusion that someone is home. When criminals or professional snoops break into a home to find something. or drawers and cabinets of any type. 20. Anything you can do to slow the intruder and make what he is looking for harder to find should be considered. Sometimes the best way to store valuables is by simply hiding them so that they are nearly impossible to find. old non-working keys. pepper spray. and other devices to your home-defense arsenal. furniture (including the underside of drawers and the backs of chairs and couches). and the like that might be targets for those wanting information should also be hidden. computer files. behind pictures (where there might be a wall safe). and the intruder can simply take the safe and hire a locksmith to break it open later.

fraudsters. Among them are the Bahamas.S. a spot out of your neighbors' or other observers' sight. Liechtenstein. Hong Kong. such privacy protections have recently been violated by some Swiss financial institutions being pressured to do so by Obama administration officials. and many languages are widely spoken. Even if you just let your money sit idly in a foreign account. often these areas can be employed as hiding places. There are dozens of countries that serve as asset havens for U. Cook Islands. behind cabinets. the people are friendly. For one thing. Cayman Islands. Simply study the layout of your plumbing carefully. Switzerland is the most popular offshore financial haven. Unfortunately. account. and it can offer a few spots for hiding keys or even for concealing a floor safe carefully painting the box so it matches the other metal is essential for completing the camouflage. Swiss law forbids financial institutions from disclosing information about an individual's account to a third party unless specifically ordered by a Swiss court. A cache is simply something valuable buried in the ground.15 conditioned to avoid. All you need is a shovel.S. you will be achieving the important purpose of making that money safer in some respects than it would be in a U. Most Americans go about their daily lives under the mis-impression that this is still a free country. or in other places. and a water-tight container to protect your valuables from moisture. citizens to open Swiss bank accounts. Austria. The good news is that the world is full of opportunities in emerging free countries. That's because the IRS and other possible creditors could be frustrated in their attempts to get at a foreign bank account that offers better privacy and property rights protections than a typical U. some foreign diversification of wealth is essential.5 trillion. Nevertheless. One of the best places to hide valuables that is easy to construct is a “dummy run” of empty piping. In recent years. A hot water heater will have an open flame or heating oil and other potential hazards. citizens. and other threats. Perhaps most importantly. approximately one-third of it is in Switzerland. It is becoming increasingly difficult for U. Placing assets in offshore accounts can be an effective way of insulating them from potential creditors. Of all private wealth that is relocated to another country. Many homes have “dead space” under stairways. If you have carpentry skills.S.S. and then create a run that appears to be legitimate. Caching makes it almost impossible to find something if you don't know its exact location. investment account. it is a convenient and safe country to do business in. Isle of Man. provided you do so well in advance of any troubles. Consider moving some assets offshore. and Switzerland. Gibraltar. The economy is strong. The container for the cache should be very tough and be able to last decades. Luxembourg. Panama. more and more Americans have moved more and more of their assets overseas – to the tune of more than $1. 21. Belize. Confidential Subscriber Briefing – Copyright 2010 .

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