Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Dark Side of Twitter and Social Networking

Perry Belcher's bio on Twitter reads "Perry Belcher - Seriously Bad Ass Marketer & Neurological Copywriter With a Gift From God." In reality, he is a confessed felon with a ten year suspended sentence, an Internet con artist who the courts have forced to pay $1 million in restitution to his victims. The scam Perry Belcher has been convicted of (so far) involved preying upon seriously ill people desperate for medical cures, but the "miracle products" he sent them in exchange for their hard earned money were ordinary household herbs such as oregano or chili pepper. Perry Belcher is one of the worst of that new breed calling itself "Internet marketer", in his case the 21st century equivalent of an old-time snake oil salesman.

You can read details about Perry Belcher's arrest and conviction here (three, quite unbiased articles I must say, considering the serious nature of his crimes): 1) http://cli.gs/zULnU3 2) http://cli.gs/aJBdd4 3) http://cli.gs/1AQZjH

As of this writing, Perry Belcher has nearly 37,000 followers on Twitter, and this means that he can send direct, one-to-one messages (or DMs on Twitter) to each and every one of them. I was briefly one of these unsuspecting dupes, not having researched Perry's background thoroughly before I followed him on the "advice" of http://twitter.grader.com/topusers which listed him as one of the top 100 "Twitter Elite", and as such someone worthy of my respect and admiration. I have since contacted the Twitter user http://twitter.com/grader responsible for this terrible oversight of listing a felon among members of that exalted rank. Unfortunately nothing has been done about it, which is the main reason I've written this post, in order to warn an otherwise unsuspecting public, because I seriously doubt that Perry Belcher would have anywhere near 37,000 followers on Twitter if most people really knew the truth about him.

Everyone who is a Twitter user and reads this (even if you are NOT following Perry Belcher) should immediately consider taking the following, simple action as I did, in order to protect youself. While logged in to your Twitter account, visit http://twitter.com/perrybelcher and on the right hand side of the page under "Actions" press the link that says "block" by the username perrybelcher. Wait for the next page to load, where you will be asked to confirm the action and make sure that you do so. That's it. Now Perry Belcher and other criminals who work with him (and I suspect their number is growing, based on veiled threats I've already received for exposing him) cannot send you direct messages or easily read your Twitter stream from his account, in order to try to "get to know you" and fleece you out of your money or worse. An added benefit is that you will no longer be exposed to Perry Belcher's constant, inane drivel in your own Twitter stream, either.

Now if you still decide to start following or continue to follow Perry Belcher on Twitter, at least you've been warned. But this whole affair points out the dark side of Twitter and social networking in general. We all need to be more vigilant about who we decide to be "friends" with on this and other social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. The price for not doing so can be your wallet with less money in it, while a criminal like Perry Belcher is laughing all the way to the bank.

Please help me protect others like yourself by sending them a link to this post, or at least by warning them about the presence of criminals like Perry Belcher on Twitter. Thanks.






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42 comments:

adrielhampton said...

Thank you for this important information. The community does need to be on the lookout for this sort of thing, and I appreciate your diligence.

PublicRecordsGuy said...

Let me play devil's advocate. If someone commits a crime, gets caught, gets prosecuted and is convicted, they have a penalty, right? When you finish serving that penalty, then what? Does the stigma have to last forever? If they did their crime, and then did their time, we should as a society be willing to move forward, not stay behind. People change. Now I don't know the specifics of this person, but in general. Be aware of their background and make wise decisions, but even felons have something to contribute. Its weight is in the eyes of the receiver. IMO

PragueBob said...

Yes, but Perry Belcher has NOT paid his penalty, and you sir are yourself an idiot for not researching this further and more carefully before shooting your mouth off. If Perry doesn't get nabbed again during the next TEN YEARS he will have paid his penalty, not before! His crime and conviction are very fresh, I do not believe for one second that this callous person has repented. No sir, you are just dead wrong!

Mark Sherrick said...

I myself have not sent him any money or bought anything from him, nor has he asked me to do so. All I have seen from him are tweets, and some of them do contain good advice or linkable content.

PublicRecordsGuy said...

Okay, fair enough, but I don't agree with your label, idiot. I deal with people in this line of work daily. Most are bad, a few turn out good. If someone gets a suspended sentence, they either had a great lawyer or were a small fish.

Did Perry Belcher screw you out of any money? I'd be interested in learning more from you if you'd resist the name calling. Thanks.

PragueBob said...

To PublicRecordsGuy, I apologize for calling you an idiot. My whole family (mother, father, sister) died of cancer and were all desperate for a cure, any cure. When I think of what Perry Belcher did to fleece people like them out of money, sending desperately ill people common oregano or chilli pepper and then laughing it up on Internet videos, showing the world all the nice stuff he bought with the money he drefrauded these people out of, I can only say that if there is a hell, Perry Belcher wiil most certainly be in it when he dies.

Junior said...

Wow - this is a blockbuster.

May I ask where you got your information from? A tip off? I have personally never seen Perry tweet about a felony or any such thing, then again, who pays that close attention to what people say on Twitter?

In fact, I find Perry to be "useful" when you place him under the "internet marketing" lens. Most of what these so-called internet marketers do (myself counted among them) is questionable.

I'm not sure how I feel about this and since I'm just finding out about this through what you've written, I'm going to do my own research before rushing to judgment.

But thanks for sharing...

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Bob.

Appreciate the post. Glad to see someone stand of to that pompous ass who scammed sick people as well as his own affiliates.

Keep up the good fight! We need more like you, sir.

Anonymous said...

@PragueBob I agree with you on this one. This guy is the worst kind of criminal: feeding off of people's fears and desperation. Belcher is a vulture who feeds off of people who are sick and dying. It's disgusting. I have blocked him, re-tweeted your link, and I thank you for pointing out his presence on Twitter.

PragueBob said...

Use Google, the facts are all over the Internet. Instead of just clicking "Follow" on Belcher's profile on Twitter and yucking it up with him like so many thousands of other dupes, I suggest you really do that research. It isn't pretty, I can tell you. And I do not buy any of his "I'm sorry" crap that he puts out on YouTube, either. He's freshly convicted and has to ride out a ten year suspended sentence, so he must try his cons another way now, that's all. But don't just take my word for it, go and get the facts yourself. You'll see.

Rick Fisk said...

You welcome comments unless they contradict your agenda. Interesting.

Perry has not made this a secret. He has in fact paid for his crime - somthing you deny in comments but admit to in the blog post itself.

Personally, I find Belcher more truthful than you and far more polite. What you're doing is just rude. You act as if you're revealing some secret when it was never a secret.

PragueBob said...

To Rick Fisk, you are wrong. I have published every single comment to this post, including yours. I never said Perry Belcher has kept his conviction a secret. I maintain that if most people KNEW about his conviction (and the circumstances that led up to it) that they would not be yucking it up with him on Twitter. As far as Perry's "politeness" is concerned, well, he's a con artist. I'm not. So I can tend to be a little blunt, I admit it. And if you find Perry Belcher more "truthful" than me, well... I'll let others here be the judge of that one... :-) Check my references and reputation, carefully. Then check his (read the court transcript while your at it), then come tell me that again, OK?

Anonymous said...

He's a piece of trash that should be burning in hell right now.

"He's paid for his crime" Give me a break. Who says? The U.S. Government?

Let's ask the people who died not long after he robbed them blind... oh wait, WE CAN'T ASK THEM!

GOD what a piece of filthy, worthless trash... I hope to got he dies a slow, painful death!

Rick Fisk said...

You are quite obviously wrong about knowledge. The mere fact that somebody is a convicted felon does not necessarily negate their contribution.

There are many millions of young black men in jail for merely posessing marijuana. And many millions are out of jail now having never harmed a soul.

Reputation has less to do with one's rapsheet than it does with one's treatment of others.

I find Belcher sincere. I do not find you to be sincere at all. For instance, how many times has Belcher tweeted his ranking or stats? You on the other hand manage to do this often while in some cases claiming that you are disinterested. That is the opposite of sincerity.

If I were ever to run afoul of the law, It appears as if I could only count on you for one thing: to mock and ridicule. Never would you show compassion or understanding - at least based on your actions I fell safe to assume this. Suit yourself but don't be surprised when this is the way you are treated if you ever find yourself in a similar situation.

PragueBob said...

To Rick Fisk, No, not "knowledge", I'm interested in letting people know the truth about a convicted felon who is jovially yucking it up on Twitter with an unsuspecting public, and they have a right to know. I was one of those taken in by this con man, before I did a litlle bit of investigation myself. Perry Belcher's treatment of others was callous and criminal, that's why he was convicted for his crimes. My reputation however is quite intact, you can look it up. If you find Belcher's reputation and "sincerity" more to your liking after getting your facts straight, well there is really nothing more I can say to you about it. And I have not mocked or ridiculed Belcher, I think he might be dangerous. A real criminal. Callous, arrogant and cruel. And I do not find even a hint of sincerity in the inane tweets I see on his page. Maybe he doesn't tweet his stats, but he constantly tweets videos that would have you believe he's a great, well-meaning guy, which he clearly is not. That is insincerity to the max. I won't address your two points about the injustice of young black men in prison or what might happen if you personally run afoul of the law, other than to say that if you continue to run in the company of Perry Belcher in Austin where you both live, your chances of meeting up with both are likely to be increased dramatically.

Me-Me King said...

Wow, thank you for posting this information.

Anonymous said...

Great article on this scammer! He ought to be in jail right now for preying on ill people. What is even more egrarious about the whole thing is how the internet marketing community has immediatley "forgiven" this guy and partners with him only b/c they know he can bring in the $$ on a joint venture.

I think people ought to cut off his enablers such as his big partners Ryan Deiss and Carrie Wilkerson who goes by the name the barefoot executive. He's part of the Yanik Silver crowd also.

Attorney Mike Young at his law blog had a recent post http://mikeyounglaw.com/wp/2009/02/05/internet-marketer-will-you-sell-me-your-integrity/

He mentions Perry friends like Ryan Deiss and the barefoot executive Carrie Wilkerson as quote "typical of those who are desperate for sales now that the economy has taken a hit and online conversion rates have dropped."

They all want as much money as they can get so if Belcher knows how to get it, they want their cut and offer up their clan of subcribers to the table.

I think everyone ought to unsubcribe from anyone who supports this felon scammer Belcher

Beverly C said...

Thanks for the heads up! I checked out Google and your references. Maybe he won't do it again, but why take a chance. He doesn't sound contrite at all. Sorry, folks, you reap what you sow. For screwing sick folks out of cash for false hopes, you reap heaps of distrust.

PragueBob said...

Pay careful attention to my reactions to the people leaving comments on this blog post, from now on I will be sure to point out the origin of these people where I can. For instance Rick Fisk lives in Austin, where Perry Belcher lives and not only lists himself on Twitter as a marketing type, but he can be seen there bantering with Perry Belcher there as if they are friends. I tend to discredit comments from such people and you might want to think about it, too. Is there something really rotten going on in Austin with so many Internet "racketeers" yucking it up together in one place? I'm not saying they are all felons like Perry Belcher, but maybe they are on their way to being felons, with Perry's local friendship and encouragement? Scum, I say.

PALS said...

I have followed this Perry Belcher.. I thought that this Perry is a good internet marketer but after reading this one.. CAN'T BELIEVE IT

Brandingyp

The Barefoot Executive said...

I'm not sure how I got dragged into this. I know Perry and he is a smart marketer.

But I don't live local to him.

I'm not a business partner of his.

And i've openly said he has been convicted of crimes and hopefully has learned from his mistakes.

Also - my primary job is not as an internet marketer. There is some misinformation here.

I have 4 businesses. 1 of them is in internet marketing as a coach, etc. and really, I'm a general biz coach, offline and on. I do train in some IM methods, because of the success we've had.

I find it interesting that I'm even on this blog at all. I'm being dragged through the mud and I've done nothing wrong. Nor has my integrity on any issue ever been in question.

Carrie Wilkerson
The Barefoot Executive

Gunner Sykes said...

I know Perry Belcher very well.

You don't.

I really don't see what your problem is with him.

Do you think you are going to mount your white charger and protect all the poor twitterites from the big, bad marketer?

I have news. The only thing Perry Belcher is guilty of is selling herbal products too well.

He never pretended to be anything he wasn't. If you actually took the time to research, instead of Google, you'd know that.

So, why don't you just climb off the high horse and leave the man to live his life?

Why am I reminded of the Lilliputians and Gulliver?

PragueBob said...

To the Barefoot Executive, you aren't "on this blog", so I was confused when I read your comment. THen I remembered that someone mentioned you in another comment. Sorry, but I publish ALL comments, otherwise it wouldn't be fair, as there is a lot of controversy around Perry Belcher and his crimes. If you have been tarred with the same brush I can understand your indignation, so I suggest you continue to distance yourself from him, and I commend you for doing this. Good to see people protecting their reputations, unfortunately in some cases (like Perry Belcher's) the reputation is so bad there is nothing to protect.

PragueBob said...

To Gunner Sykes, I never stated that Perry Belcher is trying to hide anything, but you're right about one thing: I don't want to know him. I personally think the judge who sentenced this felon to only a 10 years suspended sentence and $1M fine was much too lenient, Perry Belcher should be behind bars. And you are a liar, sir. Perry Belcher was convicted of defrauding sick people by selling them household spices instead of the medical remedies he advertised and they paid for. As far as your comments about my character, do your own research better, Google praguebob and "Robert Morrison" and then tell me you found some indication that I'm anything other than a solid citizen, widely known and respected on the Internet. I am one of the top people in terms of followers on Twitter becuase I have over 15,000 regular readers there, hardly a Lilliputian, as you say, to Perry Belcher's Gulliver. The fact that I'm #230 (as of yesterday) on Twitter out of its millions of users is precisely why I decided to let an otherwise uninformed public know the facts, since I was briefly duped as well, by the Twitter Grader, as were literally thousands of others, into following this felon. The overwhelming response to this post has been a flood of literally hundreds of DM messages on Twitter thanking me for letting people know the facts about Perry Belcher, which is 100% proof to me that my contention is true in this post that Perry Belcher would not have so many followers on Twitter if people knew the facts about him. I will now leave it for others to step in and help your "Lilliputian" rid the Internet of this type of scum.

Gunner Sykes said...

You are personally misinformed. You don't want to know anything. You just want to spout and rant.

And no, he was not convicted of selling kitchen spices to anyone, you are misinformed again. He sold herbal products. That's all. The kitchen spice remark simply came from some over-zealous government employee trying to make himself look good.

Don't believe everything you read in the press, or on twitter for all that matter.

No, sir, "solid citizens" do not malign people as they pretend to do a public service.

Perry Belcher didn't do anything GNC is not doing right now.

You really are quite shrill.

Once again, you do not know the "facts" about Perry Belcher. You only know what you've learned from some sensational press accounts.

Why do you feel the need to try and convict him again?

You can't let people know the truth about Perry Belcher because you do not know it yourself.

Now, step back from the computer, take a deep breath, and try to calm yourself. You've done enough today.

PragueBob said...

To Gunner Sykes (again), I'm sure it is obvious to everyone that I publish all comments, now. :-) It's not however my intent to provide defenders of Perry Belcher such as yourself a "bully pulpit". You've had your 15 minutes of fame here on my blog, so I'm sure you'll forgive me if I don't publish any more of your follow on comments (at least on this post) since you're just repeating remarks that have already been demolished/discredited by myself and others.

swimminginmyhead said...

This is a tough situation, but one thing is for certain - the author is allowed to state his opinion and passionately if he chooses to. After all, it is his blog.

On the other hand, without Perry Belcher on here to actually defend himself, I find it difficult to confidently think I/we know the other side of the story in its unbiased form.

That being said, we all have a choice to either follow or not follow Perry Belcher and shouldn't make each other feel bad about our decision.

I made the choice to 'unfollow' after reading this and I have my reasons...but it was a personal decision and would hope those reasons are respected just like I respect the author of the post and all of the others who have stated their opinion.

Jen L. said...

I don't see where this is controversial or in the realm of "everyone has their opinion" - he's a felon. He pleaded guilty and admitted he did what they accused him of doing.

At the end of the day, all you really have to decide is whether you want to take advice from the type of man that would do, and then admit, such a thing.

This wasn't an FDA violation for mislabeling herbs. It was a criminal felony, and he admitted to it.

Where on earth does the "well, I don't know the whole story" come in?

Criminal Felony. Plead Guilty. Admitted it. There ya go.

Patricia Skinner said...

Hi Bob, thanks for researching this. You are right we should all be a lot more careful. It's important that we all make an effort to improve the community and that means weeding out the obvious bad guys.

William Beverly said...

I don't fully know either of you guys so I wouldn't feel right going on and on about the topic. I do understand your concern though.

But I will say this...it sounds like you could be putting this same type of info out about the FDA, doctors and like someone mentioned earlier the GNC's of the world. Perry got convicted, so maybe if you direct your efforts toward some of the bigger fish that continue to sell the American people "snake oil" on a grand scale, maybe we can get some of them convicted as well.

It's obvious that you want to put a stop to these type of actions...right? Let me know when you begin this process and I will help out in any way possible.

Peace & Blessings!
William

PragueBob said...

To William Beverly, the purpose of this post is simple and clear: to inform the thousands of people on Twitter who are (and have been) UNWITTINGLY following a felon, many of them just as I did, on the recommendation of Twitter Grader. I want to make sure that people are informed and I also hope that Twitter Grader will finally take Belcher off it' Twitter Elite page of the 100 people it claims have earned respect and admiration, which Perry Belcher clearly has NOT. If you want to continue to follow him, fine. You've been warned. This blog and specifically this post is not a forum for your complaints against doctors, the FDA, or GNC. You are way off topic, so take these complaints elsewhere, thanks!

William said...

No complaints from me bud just a suggestion to you. You must have read into my statement wrong. You just seemed like a person who cared about the people and had their best interest in hand. I guess it's just a Perry/Twitter Grader issue...sorry!

Thanks for the warning and all the effort you have put into this whole thing. I have never purchased anything from Perry and I don't think that following him on Twitter will some kind of way make me get duped by him. You seem to know better than me though, so thanks again for the warning. I hope you succeed in spreading your message to the Twitter world.

Peace & Blessings!
William

Anonymous said...

Wondering how many Convicted Felons are on twitter ..more than ONE I suspect..how many have owned up to it..ONE

Come on people..do you really know who is behind the keyboard..

I find this whole thread sad..

Who are we to sit in judgement..

PragueBob said...

To the Anonymous comment before this one: this isn;t about judgment (BTW, the courst have already judged Perry Belcher, he's sweating out a 10 year felony conviction under a suspended sentence), it's about thousands of people not being informed to the extent that they could make a proper decision. And I can assure you, that if I find other felons yucking it up with THOUSANDS of followers, I will be sure to point those out, too. Maybe you don;t realize it, but the vast majority of Perry Belcher's followers have (or had, if they since blocked him) ANY IDEA that the guy is a convicted scam artist. That's what this is all about, and if you took the time to comment about it, you might want to take a little more time to THINK about it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob,

First want to say I don't know either you or Perry. I do want to thank you for the information. My thoughts:

I DO NOT LIKE ANYONE that takes advantage of another person. You have not detailed it but I take it that you purchased a PRODUCT FROM HIM ??? Are you a cancer patient or using a product that he sells and you thought it would make you better ??

I don't like individuals that profess to be the "Bad Ass" of marketing. Truly great individuals don't have to do that...There is nothing wrong with someone being ambitious but if they seek to basically TAKE from people then they have crossed the line.

I will say do be impressed with someones BIG NUMBERS or SLICK TALK. Because what we have learned is that BAD GUYS ALL do these things VERY, VERY WELL....

Again, thanks for the information...Don't try to fight everyone that sends you back a disagreement. Put the information out as you did as clearly as you did...And let the PEOPLE arrive at their own decision...In the END we will SEE THROUGH the CRAP...

Thanks,

PragueBob said...

To the previous Anonymous, thanks! Just so you (and everyone else) knows, my BIG NUMBERS are not all that shabby either, and I am not a crook, and have used no automation or special "SEO" methods to obtain them, please see http://twitterholic.com/praguebob as of this writing I'm #220 on Twitter in terms of followers, and often make it onto the same Twitter Elite page (top 100) as Perry Belcher. And I must say it was very embarrassing to find myself on the same page as an Internet scam-artist felon! It kind of spoiled it for me, I think you can appreciate that.

Anonymous said...

Here is a video where Perry addresses his past - particularly the wrongdoing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=iTpZDTv6nEc

At least he's not some Chi-moe (we hope). The question does remain however: "Does Perry Belcher Belch"?

PragueBob said...

Regarding the last comment by Anonymous, I only published this because I have previously agreed to publish ALL comments that are not too x-rated, whether I agree or not. In this case I DO NOT endorse any videos by Perry Belcher, apologetic or otherwise, the guy can apologize AFTER his ten year suspended sentence is up, as far as I'm concerned he's a convicted felon who got off very light. In my opinion he should be behind bars (while sleeping) and otherwise doing hard labor with the other convicts in a federal penitentiary. And I strongky advise anyone who watches the video posted in the last comment with a ton (not a grain) of salt!

JR Moreau said...

I recall the first time you Tweeted about this a whole back. Quite shocking what he's been charged with. Even being associated with someone like this is embarrassing. I appreciate you airing this information.

David J said...

You may be already aware of this but there's a Twitter account called @saltydroid which spends its time mocking, insuting and generally harassing scammers on Twitter like Belcher and his ilk.

Lance said...

The "Salty Droid" mentioned above has a blog where he actually exposed Perry Belcher's lies. Belcher continues to imply that he was simply the victim of overzealous government. That is not true. What he doesn't admit is that his activities spanned YEARS, which indicates his behavior was more than a one time "mistake."

This blog post PROVES what a blatant fraud operation he was running:

http://saltydroid.wordpress.com/2009/03/23/the-selmedica-scam-part-1/

Anonymous said...

Perry Belcher has never publically admitted that YES, HE BROKE THE LAW, and he was a criminal.

He has always made excuses:

He has always said that the government came after him because he made TOO MUCH MONEY. If that were true, why would they go after him (small guy) and not the bigger supplement sellers?

That does NOT make sense.

Here are the REAL facts:

1. Perry Belcher sold his bogus medicines for YEARS. It was not a casual crime. He was hard-core.

2. He consistently used outright lies (FRAUD) to sell those bogus medicines. (PROOF: See the "Salty Droid" blog link above, and read the "Selmedica Scam" post. It shows that he used EXACTLY the SAME false STATISTICS in claims for totally DIFFERENT "medicines." How much more blatant can it get than that?

3. He was CONVICTED by his own admission in court. He had a GREAT lawyer (if you're in the U.S., it was the same attorney who got murderer Mary Winkler an unbelievably short sentence). Anyone else would probably be in prison for Perry Belcher's crimes.

4. And to repeat: he continues to NOT TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for his long-time crimes and blames it on "the government" and "sloppiness." (Sloppy=GREED)

There is NO WAY a long-time criminal like Perry Belcher (who was JUST convicted) has completely reformed "overnight." That's ridiculous!

Now, what is Perry Belcher doing TODAY? (See if any of this sounds clean and reformed):

1. He is using auto-follow software on Twitter to build up a following (this is gaming the system). This gives him a FALSE appearance of importance so that he can "persuade" his NEXT bunch of suckers.

2. Perry is also attempting to build a HUGE junk-blog farm in an attempt to "cover up" the search engine listings which expose his criminal background. Search google for the words PERRY BELCHER SCAM and you'll immediately see this.

3. Belcher is pretending to be personal, "available" and one-on-one. He lists his "personal" email address and phone number on his blog. Of course, that is all an ILLUSION. That's just a junk email box (perhaps with a form auto-response) and a VOICE MAIL number. He knows most people won't attempt to call him but will be "impressed" by his fake availability. That means MORE SALES for greedy Perry.

In short, these are NOT the actions of a changed man! These are the actions of a CONVICTED FELON who has been FORCED to find another customer base.

Bob, you are SO right about this guy. Eventually, he will do something questionable again. His greed will resurface.

Thanks for helping get the word out.