Is Jeff Berwick A Scam Artist Or Businessman?
Image Source: YouTube Still
When Jeff Berwick, The Dollar Vigilante, entered Steemit, I had no idea who he was.
Quite honestly, I had never heard of him before. The only thing I knew was that many trustworthy Steemit users, like @piedpiper who had previously met him and pursued deals with him no longer wanted anything to do with him. And then there was George Donnelly who demanded to see Jeff’s documents concerning the Galt’s Gulch fiasco. He never got the documents.
Jeff Berwick’s Doom Porn Infomercial-style graphics and writing never appealed to me and I avoided reading his posts entirely. I never flagged his content because I never looked into it. But for fun, I decided to finally read one of his posts yesterday. I found it to be ridiculous on so many different levels. It seemed to be crafted in the midst of a hangover or while completely inebriated. These absurd aspects were well documented by @kyriacos in his response (https://steemit.com/money/@dollarvigilante/seek-your-independence-anything-else-will-destroy-you).
By this point the term, ‘scam artist’ had been applied to Jeff Berwick countless times among many Steemit users, but I had never really looked into the claims.
I give everyone a fair chance. I had never spoken to Jeff and so I couldn’t say for sure whether he was a conman or not. He seemed like an okay guy in interviews. So, today, I set about doing as much research as I could because I still didn’t know who Jeff Berwick really was. I will present you with facts and quotes from other people from many different sources. It is up to you to make a decision about The Dollar Vigilante for yourself. The reason I decided to do some digging is because I stumbled upon this video on YouTube last night. I learned that it was originally on Vimeo but Jeff had persuaded Vimeo to take it down. The video was uploaded to YouTube after it was removed from Vimeo and has now been mirrored across different accounts:
This video got me curious about Jeff’s passport company called TDV Global.
I went onto the website and then I began searching for any type of customer feedback. There are a lot of unhappy people who have paid Jeff’s company for foreign passports but who have not heard back from the staff at TDV Global. Here are some complaints from previous customers of TDV Global:
“Jeff Berwick is a scam artist. He calls himself an anarcho-capitalist, espousing the virtues of freedom and liberty. But all he really does is use his position among libertarian circles to defraud and scam his clients.
I signed up and paid for his Mexico Citizenship & Passport program for $30,000. I paid a total of $15,000 as a deposit. I also paid lots of money and spent a lot of time getting documents and signatures and sending it to his company. I also had to make two trips to Acapulco to “do paperwork” with the local government.
This was supposed to be a 3-month, one trip to Acapulco, passport deal. Looking back, I realize I am stupid for believing in such a scam. But this guy, Jeff Berwick, knew people that I respected…Doug Casey, for example. So I trusted him and worked with his “partner” Chris Martin. I even met Jeff Berwick in Acapulco. He seemed like a decent guy.
That is not the case. It has been two years since I signed up for this program. With no communication from Jeff Berwick or Chris Martin. I now understand that this program was never real to begin with. I just want to get my money back. Although knowing Jeff Berwick, I don’t think I will get it back.
Well, this is one lesson that I learned the hard way. I’m sorry if my thoughts are not clear. A bit disappointed in myself for being stupid enough to go after pie-in-the-sky deals. I am a big fan of Doug Casey and his philosophy. I’m a subscriber at Casey Research.
I don’t think Doug Casey knows what kind of person Jeff Berwick is. If Doug does, and continues to associate with Jeff, I would start to doubt Doug Casey’s character also.
I just saw an “Anarchast” with Jeff and Doug. So I assume Doug does not know. But anyways, I will write to Casey Research and Doug personally to see if this is the kind of people Doug associates with. I haven’t heard from Jeff Berwick or Chris Martin for almost a year. Writing emails is useless.
This is my lesson. Live and learn. To those who are reading this and have a desire to internationalize themselves…don’t do business with TDV Immigration, TDV Passport, Jeff Berwick, Chris Martin, The Dollar Vigilante.
They will sweet talk you until you wire the money. Then they’ll give you the runaround. Then they stop responding. And voila…you’ll never hear from them again. I am angry, but this is some people’s true nature. What can I do, but learn from this. Good luck to the free-spirited and freedom-loving adventurers out there. SOURCE: Ripoff Report
Here’s a second customer complaint also from Ripoff Report:
“Me, my wife, brother & his fiancee, and mother paid Jeff Berwicks — TDV Passports in full to go through what we thought was the legal process of becoming residents of Paraguay. We went to Paraguay and went through what we thought were the steps to do just that. After about six months two out of the five of us received resident status, or so we thought. The remaining three of us had difficulty getting Jeff or his agent, employee, partner or whatever he is (Chris Martin) to respond to us with a status report a year later.
Then after some research it appears from two news articles from local news sources in Paraguay that the people Jeff had us meet there were total frauds. They were apparently arrested for producing fraudulent documents related to resident cards and passports. To top it off, now their associates in Paraguay can not be contacted because their phone numbers have been disconnected.
Jeff had the gaul to ask me if I had his peoples contact information in Paraguay so I could contact them directly instead of going through Chris Martin. I told Jeff that the numbers I had for his people no longer worked and could he provide good contact information. Jeff never responded back with any numbers for anyone who could help.
I thought I knew Jeff well enough and could trust him. I even wrote a guest blog for his site and he stayed at my house one night because it was close to a conference he was to speak at the next day. I believe now that I was wrong about him. In fact, now I firmly believe he is a scam artist. Still perhaps he’s a decent writer of some of the unpleasant truths of the world, that doesn’t change the fact that he and his company will not provide what we paid for or return the money we paid them.
I would strongly advise against using his service or you will very likely end up like we did — defrauded out of our money with no positive result…” -http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/TDV-Passports/internet/TDV-Passports-Jeff-Berwick-Chris-Martin-TDV-Global-Refused-to-delivery-what-was-paid-fo-1247234
There are many more of the same kind of complaints even from other websites. From a website called OutScam we have a few more unhappy customers:
“I have made an application for TDV’s Slovenian citizenship for my friend. More than estimated time passed but it wasn’t done. Then switched to Mexican citizenship. Nothing happened. Later Chris Martin said company went bankrupt. Jeff Berwick and Chris Martin said that their company has been bankrupt so no fund available for refund. I found all they offered are illegal.
I believe everybody who became victims of this scam must gather together submit complaints to authorities of relevant countries. People who are willing to join to make complaints officially should leave messages here then I will arrange actions against ridiculous scammers.”
If the TDV Global company has gone bankrupt, why is the website still up? In my research about TDV Global, I couldn’t find one happy customer who has provided a review of the company. On their website there are no customer testimonials and on their Facebook page, there exists no reviews. The only reviews I could find were on the Ripoff Report and Outscam websites.
So, next, I began to dig into the Galt’s Gulch (http://galtsgulchchile.com/jeff-berwick-exposed/) thing a bit and discovered that Jeff has quite a problem with alcohol, drugs and prostitutes. His drinking is confirmed both in the YouTube above and the video from the Galt’s Gulch Facebook page. I have shortened this clip because the original is very long:
I have also conducted an email interview with someone who claims that Jeff Berwick owes him hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Image Source: YouTube Still
Instead of being an anarcho-capitalist, a more accurate description of him would be an addicto-capitalist. It’s very clear that his addictions, not his intellect have been running his various shaky business ships for a while now. The evidence is massive and very damaging.
Supporting such a sketchy individual, one who appears to have ripped off countless people in his shaky businesses, would be a really bad move and would further degrade the reputation of Steemit. I can almost see the headlines in VICE magazine, Steemit Pays Scam Artist Thousands For Posting Doom Porn On Its Platform.
Do your own research from here on and come to your own conclusions. There is much more than what I’ve disclosed and this website has a more exhaustive list of Jeff’s activities:
I tried my best to find positive feedback from people but without much success. I don’t believe that Berwick is a really bad person but I think Berwick’s addictions come first and everything else, including other people’s money, is just part of a long, drunken haze.
Prove me wrong, I hope someone can prove me wrong by providing solid evidence that he is not a scam artist. I want to believe that people are good.