JJ Luna

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Privacy when selling scrap precious metals for cash
Do you know if there are any states that do not require gold buyers to obtain ID when selling scrap gold or silver? If not, are there states that require only a very small period of time that they hold a sellers' ID? I'm not doing anything illegal, I just want privacy and to make sure my ex doesn't know of any monies I receive from selling my old jewelry.

Longevity of ghost addresses?
Hi there,
Very grateful for the info you provide here. I am interested in establishing a NM LLC and hadn't heard of ghost addresses before I landed at your site. A question popped into my head while reading about your ghost address services. It may seem a bit morbid, so I apologize, but is there a plan in place for maintaining these services in case either you or any of your associates die or become incapacitated?

I hope you all live many more good, long years, of course! However, selfishly speaking, I wouldn't want any important mail going to the ghost address, nor to be paying for it, if the service falls apart. Can you offer some reassurance for the future about how long these services will be available? You mention a "personal guarantee" on the Ghost Address FAQ page - what is that guarantee, exactly? I hope you understand and can empathize with my concern. Thanks, in advance, for your response.

All three friends who run the ghost addresses have backup family members in place. However, nothing is perfect--not even the U.S. banking system, haha. If this worries you, please do not order a ghost address.

Facebook IDs
Re Facebook IDs. I have an author friend who tried to get on Facebook and was unable to do so, as she has a pen name and FB requires your "legal name, so everyone know it's really you." She uploaded an ID and FB would not accept it because the names do not match.

I do not recommend that ANYONE get on Facebook!

Tom, Thank you for the response.
Jack, I saw that you recommend a private investigator. Do you think they can find out who has been hacking me now for over 2 yrs?

No, Tim is in Washington. I agree with Tom's advice. Be sure to use someone in your own area in CA.

Facebook IDs
I know most here would consider using FaceBook to be a no-no for privacy. I always used my FB account without my real name and never allowed any pictures linked to me. I use this for promotional purposes for a business.

Recently Facebook banned my account and they want ID to get back on. I wonder which of these can legally and cheaply be obtained to a degree which would satisfy them, but in a name other than the one on my Passport.

I included the link to what they will accept, except I ended up removing it because even their reference links to pages about "acceptable forms of ID to recover an account" put identifying information. (Check your browser when you google for the information, click the link and it won't be a generic page, it is apparently a page with a unique identifier).

Obviously the "1 Form of Government issued ID" they allow is out. Some of the ones in the second group are fine. I can get magazine subscriptions with my chosen pseudonym. But what about something with a photo or DOB?

I don't want to fall into forgery laws in the US, so I would prefer to acquire whatever paperwork they want by above-board means.

Re: "Hacked to death"
In reference to "Hacked to Death":

The best option is to contact and /or retain an I.T. security person. The sooner that this problem con be rectified the better.

hacked to death
I'm having a big privacy crisis. My email accounts have been hacked and sold on the black market. Since then, my phones have been hacked constantly. Almost on a daily basis there are symptoms of hacks. There are so many I won't list all of them, but just a few:
- a phone turned on by itself in front of me!
- passwords to important accounts (such as my vpn) and the passwords to a private phone (that received 2FA codes for ALL of my accounts) changed 'by themselves’, effectively locking me out of that phone and account. I had to format the phone.
- for the main business email, 2 factor authentication got turned off, and instead a recovery email was put in, for an email address (that is from an old business), which was hacked and which I closed already. When I turned 2FA back on, google didn't even register that it was off! which to me indicates that someone turned it off via a back door, not via logging into the account directly as I do.
- A Spyware Removal app on my phone detected suspicious spying activity, coming from an app it couldn't identify (meaning its not any app in the app store, but a hidden app with no logo or presence in the app store; therefore it can't be easily removed.)
- and there are so many more.

I asked several ‘experts’ and many people have no idea how to deal with this problem. They advise to get another phone, or to get another email account, or to change the password. But all those things are useless in this situation. I’m being targeted by skilled people. These hackers will just hack right back in. Does anyone have real solutions to this problem? I would appreciate any ideas.

I’m at the point of desperation at this point. Because in my business I have to take IDs from clients, they send me signed forms, photos, details of their lives. I’ve had many 100s of clients over the years. The hackers could be identity thieves trying to get all that data. I can’t run my business at this point at all, because I would feel horrible if my clients had identity theft due to my hacks. So I’ve had no income for months. This technological nightmare has consumed my life.

Thank you for your help

This problem is beyond my pay grade.

Can any of you readers help?

Re 11287 Legal Home Address
As Jack said, this depends on your purpose.

Generally, the cheaper/easier options are only useful for a few purposes; the better options are more difficult/expensive.

Here are a few in increasing order of difficulty/cost/usefulness:

* PO Box
* Private business that rents boxes or receives mail with a street address.
* Other business that will agree to receive mail for you (accountant who prepares your taxes, lawyer who handles other business for you, place where you work.
* Friend or relative who lets you use his home address, or lawyer/accountant who works from home and will let you use that address
* Someone who rents rooms in his house, may be willing to receive mail if you pay the cost of maybe 1/4 of what it would cost to rent a room.
* Hotel, inn, rooming house, same as above.
* Vacation cabin which you own and use only during summer.
* Actually renting a room or apartment in a cheap, unattractive part of town. You just have to feel comfortable going there to get your mail, doesn't have to be the kind of place you'd like to sleep in.

Google has made the first few options difficult since it's obvious you don't actually live inside a PO box or in a restaurant. Also there are databases used by banks and government agencies which show whether an address is a residence or business. Sometimes they will not even accept a rooming house or inn if the word "hotel" appears in its name.

For some purposed it may be possible to get a good (expensive) address for just one month, then have future mail sent to a PO box. So you could rent a room for a month. University areas have cheap rooms available during summer vacation. Beach towns have cheap rooms in winter, mountain/ski resorts have cheap rooms in summer.

Finally, there are agencies that help the homeless, some will receive mail for you. If you do this, it's ethical for you to make an anonymous contribution to pay for the value of the service they are giving you.

Re 11298 buying home fpor cash
If you borrow against house #1 to buy house #2 you won't have to explain that the money is being used to buy another house. The only threat to privacy would be someone tracing the flow of money through your accounts (money in from house #1, then buying house #2.) There is no legal way to get around that

Re 11300 Street address for business
I don't know about your state, states differ in what happens if you operate without a business license, anywhere from just being told to get one, to hefty fines.

As far as the POB application, the info IS available to the public if ou are using the box for business.

What you need is a small one-room office. Typically these rent for about 1/4 of what it costs to rent an apartment, so if apartments go for $800/mo where you live, expect to pay $200/mo. Small offices are hard to find but not impossible. Check newspaper ads, go to old office buildings in a cheap part of town and see if there are any vacant offices, then locate the owner. You'll usually have to sign a 12-month lease (month to month is rare) and get liability insurance. Another possibility is when you walk around buildings, if you see offices that are underutilized see if you can share the office or sublet an office. This often happens in immigrant neighborhoods. An insurance agent and accountant might be sharing an office.

Kickstarter project not tied to your real identity
I'm not trying to pull this off, just for a thought experiment: I'm curious how you or readers would pull off a Kickstarter campaign not tied to your real identity.

You can have all the good intentions, you just don't want a lot of strangers to contact you through your private channels all of a sudden, if your campaign turns out to be too successful. I wonder if this kind of business could work at all with a pseudonym.

DEA agents profiling travelers to seize their cash
There is a story I thought everyone would find interesting about the DEA profiling travelers to seize their cash. Quote:

Agents seized $25,000 from Christelle Tillerson’s suitcase in 2014 as she was waiting to board a flight from Detroit to Chicago. The Justice Department said in a court filing that agents became interested in Tillerson after they “received information” that she was headed to Los Angeles on a one-way ticket. Tillerson told the agents that her boyfriend had withdrawn the money from his U.S. Postal Service retirement account so that she could buy a truck, according to court records. Agents were suspicious; Tillerson was an ex-convict, who had spent time in prison for driving a load of marijuana into the United States from Mexico. She seemed to have little money of her own. And a police dog smelled drugs on the cash.


Court records show agents and informants flagged travelers for questioning based on whether they were traveling with one-way tickets, had paid in cash, had listed a non-working phone number on the reservation or had checked luggage. They also appeared to pay particular attention to people headed to cities such as Los Angeles (which prosecutors described as “a well-known source city for marijuana and other types of narcotics”), Fresno (“known for large quantities of outdoor grown marijuana”) and other California cities.

Note also that 90% of cash has detectable amounts of drugs on it. See: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/08/14/cocaine.traces.money/

URL #1: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/08/10/dea-travel-record-airport-seizures/88474282/

Social media/small biz #11302
This is in reply to #11302 - I posted a reply on the "comment" section (Disqus). Is that the correct way? If not, here is my reply to that poster about social media and online business:

I run an online business and use a fake name. Under this fake name and bogus email I had a social media consultant from another state build a business FB page for cheap. Only the name of the business needs to be visible to the public; your personal name/info will not be seen on that page.

Depending on what you are selling, SM for B2B may or may not be a big help. It is secondary for me, email and phone marketing being #1. B2C is different and more SM-intense. Reach out via phone and gather email addresses of the business owners to send some information on this product or service that may help them.

Of course having a website and getting someone to do some Adwords/SEO for you - under the same fake name and email - is probably step 1 for most people. These 3 examples will be in different order of importance depending on what you are trying to do.

Craigslist RES section is your friend

No, posting on Discus does not work. Thanks for also posting here, Ed, as this is great information!

Is social media marketing possible?
One of the big rules for those seeking privacy is not to have any presence on social media. However, for those of us who plan to start a business, we are told that social media is a great way to market the business. I wonder if it is alright to promote the business through social media as long as I don't include any information about myself. If not, what are the best marketing strategies for an online business? I know I would need to build up an email list, but people have to come to the business website first.

There may be a way, but I have never looked into it. Perhaps one of our readers can answer this one.

Privacy International releases searchable database on more than 520 surveillance companies and the powerful tools they sell to governments.
Most of the surveillance companies (122) are based in the US, followed by the UK (104), France (45), Germany (41), and Israel (27). The SII also features information on the types of products the companies sell, with the majority covering communications intelligence, intrusive spyware, and internet monitoring tools.
URL #1: http://www.theverge.com/2016/8/1/12340348/surveillance-industry-index-database-privacy-international

Business License
Hi Jack. I'm planning on starting a CMRA mail-forwarding service using a PO Box address. The post office allows this but they require my home address on the application form. I intend to provide my address because the information isn't generally available to the public.

However, to get a business license I have to list a physical address for the business (no PO Boxes allowed except as the mailing address). And this is public information. I want to do the right thing and be 100 percent legal, but there is no way I'm publishing my home address for the whole world to see.

I don't have a nominee available so I might just skip the business license. Can you or your readers think of any other options? Could I list the post office street address since that's where I'll be receiving and shipping the mail? My website won't list my real name or home address. What is the likelihood I will get caught?

A bad idea, Patrick. There is no money in that, and endless competition. I urge you to find some other business!

TSA Pre, Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI programs
Dear Mr. Luna,

I recently learned that if one wants to go more quickly go through airport security and/or customs when entering the US, one can sign up for the TSA Pre, Global Entry, NEXUS, or SENTRI programs (https://www.dhs.gov/trusted-traveler-comparison-chart).

All of them would require me to give the respective agency my fingerprints and appear at an enrollment center for an interview. I normally would not want the government to have my fingerprints, but the FBI already has them because I had to request a criminal background check years ago and recently requested one again. Since one government agency already has my prints, do you see any harm in applying to any of the above Trusted Traveler programs to make life easier at airport security and customs?

Thanks and regards.

URL #1: https://www.dhs.gov/trusted-traveler-comparison-chart

You alone must maker the decision, based on privacy vs. convenience. I cannot make it for you.

Buying a home all cash with an LLC, but using a HELOC
Hi Jack,

I've got one home which I'm halfway through paying off. I bought his one before I read your book. It provides a pretty good rental income so I don't want to sell it.

I want to relocate, and my next house I want to buy under an LLC using all cash, like you've outlined in your book. What are your thoughts on using a home equity line of credit to pull out equity from my first home, in order to pay all cash for my second property? Will I still have the privacy gains from titling the home in the LLC, even if I've used the HELOC to fund it?

Please address all LLC questions to Rosie, who is more up to date state by state, than me.. Be sure to tell her in which state you plan to buy.

Best book for me?
I just checked out your HOW TO BE INVISIBLE book from the library.What you say about Facebook is so true! I have already shut my FB page down.

I see you have five other books. Are there any of them you think I should especially read,just as a general guide the future for me, a young woman at a crossroads?

The best book I ever wrote was WORK FROM HOME AT ANY AGE. It covers far more than the title indicates.

Sadly, some idiot gave it a one-star review, making wild claims including that all the five star reviews were from friends. Totally false, but Amazon will not let me delete it. Thus, it is now out of print. However, used copies are available on Amazon. Get one, Isabella!

What can we learn from the tragic shooting of Philando Castile?
What can we learn from the tragic shooting of Philando Castile?

I have no opinion, Steven, other than in similar cases, I see errors on both sides.

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