TwitterCons and Other Sad Stuff

imagesThere are some very ugly trends shaping Twitter these days. Happily, the system is fairly flexible and it’s not too hard to filter out this garbage. However, I’d been very active on Twitter for several months before I learned that one of it’s top 10 users, Perry Belcher, is a convicted Internet fraudster who sold bunko cures to people searching the Web for answers to their ailments.

(I was following Perry before learning this information. I’ve also been a minor victim of a similar scam for weight loss products. These kind of cons work by offering free trials, then billing your credit card each month due to fine print clauses, and making it difficult to reach anyone to cancel. The group I fell victim to is under criminal investigation in Florida. They may also be making stuff up, like Perry using clip art of doctors to tout his pills.)

Also troubling, and related to Perry’s MO, is the heavy influx of multi-level marketers (MLM) onto Twitter. These are the modern Amway folks, and they use relationships as tools to get people into their sales pyramids.

Twitter is a place for relationships, but be careful about who you allow into your stream, and community.

Also, if you run into any problems with social networks stalkers, this link may provide some help.

Be safe out there!

Update: Tenn. auction’s off scammer’s ill-gotten gains. With video of Perry’s toys.

10 thoughts on “TwitterCons and Other Sad Stuff

  1. I have been sucked into similar schemes myself & am forever weary of anything related to MLM or Pyramid schemes (though that’s NEVER what they’re called). I can see how Twitter would be such an obvious place for such practice to flourish. But as in the world outside of Twitter, as long we remember the following we can bypass the trash and get to the treasured relationships that make Twitter great.
    1. Be aware of who we make friends & do business with
    2. ALWAYS ask questions
    3. Research, Research and more Research
    4. Trust your instinct, ALWAYS
    (Just some lessons my dad taught me!) 🙂

  2. I agree with you about using caution, especially with the MLMers who see people as dollar signs.

    Some people care more about money than people.

    Perry Belcher is not one of them. Check out his YouTube confession if you want to know the truth.

    He is a kind and caring person and he made a mistake in business, as many well-meaning people have. And he owned up to it, as most people wouldn’t.

    Perry does more to help people in a month than most people do in a lifetime.

  3. Hi Adriel, I read your post, followed a couple of links expanding on the topic (including the one to the video in Barbara’s comments) and ended up so frightened by the images of all those wolves “out there” that I’ve dashed back into the safety of my rose-coloured world.

    Even though it scared me (probably coz it jolted me awake on a dozy Friday morning) I do appreciate your post…although maybe even more I appreciate Meghan passing on her dad’s lessons.

  4. Perry has been very up front about this. He has given some good solid marketing advice to those on Twitter and other social networking sites.

    His past is behind him and as I said he came clean.

    Let’s get to the business of doing business and yes a word of caution is in order BUT don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    Jim Wright

  5. Jim (and Barbara) – thanks for stopping by to discuss this issue. I felt it was important to put this information out for the community of friends I talk with regularly. I hope that Perry indeed has reformed. However, I would caution everyone to be very, very careful with giving financial information out in contexts where monthly billing may occur without informed consent (yeah, I hate small print). As I’ve said on Twitter, retweet Perry all you like, just be careful with your credit card info.

  6. Thanks for posting this Adriel, I really appreciate the warning. I don’t put a lot of importance on number of followers personally, though I like having a large strong network and personal sounding board / think tank / living search engine because of the things I learn and the people I help.

    All those people with thousands of followers are really doing is mass following people, who are following them back. If a person with 10K+ followers has very few tweets relative to the amount of people you now that they aren’t interacting much and there’s not much value there.

    It’s too bad it’s become a “race to 100K” like that article we were talking about on Twitter says. People who are trying to get followers just to build their numbers are missing the point completely.

    For me, Twitter is abt interacting, learning, sharing and growing with real People. Glad you are one of them. 😉

    @AndreaTannouri the @HolisticMamma =)

  7. In my first couple of weeks twittering, I fell victim to a scam. I got suckered and felt really stupid afterwards. I was way too gullible. I decided at that point that I would be much more careful with who I follow. I basically try to stick with my focus group and people who genuinely interest me. Honestly, if someone has thousands of followers, I usually DON’T follow.
    Let’s face it, we all want to build relationships here, but some people seem to be more concerned about making a fast buck than really getting to know interesting people who might be interested in them as well.
    Thanks so much for posting this!

  8. “We own ourselves” – I mean, no matter how many people wants to add us in their streams of ‘friends”, if we don’t allow, they can’t do anything. Just like in MLM’s, no matter how a good talker is convincing us, it still depends upon us. But be wary, there are scams that really affect the legit ones. But the legit ones I know for sure will win the “race”.

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