Burn Notice Spy Tips Season 1 Episode 2

Spy Tips Planting Bugs, Con Artists, Surveillance, and more

A surveillance photo can tell you a lot about the photographer. Surveillance takes planning. You have to scout the area. You need a place to sit and wait for the target for an hour… or ten. You need to take a leak now and then. Lots of chances to get seen.

Not all bugs are the same. If it’s got a battery, it’s disposable, short-term. If it’s wired into the house power, it’s a longer-term thing. If it has a transmitter, you can figure out how close the listener is. Once your surveillance knows you’re onto them, the clock starts ticking. They know you’re coming, so the question for them is whether they can destroy their equipment and get out of there in time. The question for you is whether you can find them before every bit of useful information is turned into a pile of burning slag.

Con artists and spies are both professional liars. Cons do it for the money, and spies do it for the flag, but it’s mostly the same gig. They run operations, they follow security procedures, they recruit support staff and issue orders.

When you go after a spy, you send another spy. The same goes for con artists. To catch one, you’ve got to beat him at his own game, be a better liar than he is.  

No matter how good your cover identity is, you’ve gotta sell it, and that’s not always easy. Sometimes you have to decide just how committed you are to pretending you are who you say you are.

I don’t like running from cops, but it has its advantages. It builds your credibility with a criminal when you flee a crime scene.

Bugs don’t plant themselves. The fact is, even the fanciest equipment usually needs help from a good, old-fashioned crowbar.

A good cover identity keeps the target feeling in control. You talk too much, drink too much just to let him know he’s got the edge.

Go after a group of people directly, and they pull together, they get stronger. Taking out a tight-knit group is about making them turn on each other. Plant the seeds of distrust and watch them grow.

Whether you’re in Moscow, Tehran, or Miami, club girls are a good source of information. Men say things to a beautiful woman. They give out phone numbers, hotel keys. They let down their guard. Getting information from a club girl means buying drinks.

A hit man is like a plumber, a dentist, or a mechanic. Everybody’s always looking for a good one.

Truth is, identity theft isn’t hard. A number and an ID is all you need to drain a bank account.

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