Spam spawns share 'blowing' scam

Spam is now being used to push up flailing stock prices so dubious share traders can make a quick and often profitable dollar.

One spam e-mail currently circulating attempts to generate interest in troubled stocks (some offered at as little as less than a cent per share), and once buyers are lured into purchasing the stock the shares are dumped on the market and sold for a heavily inflated profit, leaving the new owners with an expensive portfolio of worthless stock.

At first glimpse the e-mail seems benign because it doesn't invite recipients to divulge account details, according to Clearswift managing director Peter Croft.

"The irony of this spam is the subtlety in the way it works - proponents of the scam find listed companies that are trading low, maybe around a tenth of a cent, buy large amounts of stock and then dump them at a profit," Croft said.

"It is cheap and if the scammers stay under certain percentage limits for trading the trade is not known to the stock exchange."

So far, the scam is largely a phenomenon targeting companies trading on the Nasdaq and the NY stock exchange, and is largely thwarted by intelligent practice, according to Croft.

"If stockbrokers were asked for advice they would encourage clients against buying junk stocks - many DIY traders and banks now have facilities where individuals can make stock trades as a commodity service, but good advice pays for itself," he said.

According to figures released from Clearswift, this type of spam has increased nearly 3 percent from last month to 17.7 percent of all received spam and was first discovered in April 2004.

Sophos managing director Rob Forsyth said such e-mails are not part of a new trend or a current problem in Australia, even though it too has received a number of similar e-mails.

"Some have turned up in Australia regarding 'stock blowing' - spammers talk up a number of companies in an initial e-mail then follow up later with another saying it will go up," Forsyth said.

Both the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) were unwilling to comment.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Crawford

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?