SEC Operation Spamalot: Suspends Trades Of 35 Companies Promoted By Stock Spam

from the take-that dept

In the last year or so, stock spam has grown in popularity tremendously. Apparently (and somewhat amazingly) it’s incredibly successful for the spammers. It’s a bad bet for the recipients of the spam, who are quite likely to lose money investing in those stocks. However, it appears that there are plenty of suckers out there who believe the stock spam and get taken. In fact, with stories of porn spam on the decline, it seems like many spammers have figured out that focusing solely on stock spam is definitely the easiest way to make a quick buck. So what’s the government to do? There have been some attempts at education campaigns, but today the SEC stepped it up with their own “Operation Spamalot” (yes, that’s really what they’re calling it) and suspended the trading of 35 companies featured in stock spam. These aren’t minor suspensions either — but will last a minimum of 10 days. The stocks are all OTC stocks, so not subject to much in the way of regulatory oversight compared to stocks listed on the various exchanges.

Of course, there are some big questions raised by this. While some stock spammers are spamming in conjunction with the business owners, for many others the people at the company have no idea that their stock is being used as part of a pump-and-dump scam. However, even if they’re not involved, their stock is now frozen. Of course, considering that most of these stocks were of the penny stock variety, it probably doesn’t make that much of a difference. And, while the SEC doesn’t say so directly, it sounds like they believe the companies are likely to be involved in the spamming. It will be interesting to see what happens after the 10 days are up and how many of the stocks start trading again. Even more interesting, though, will be to see how this impacts the stock spam business. Chances are that stock spammers will quickly move on to another set of stocks, and this won’t slow them down a bit. After all, there are plenty of OTC penny stocks out there, and many more suckers to fleece.

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Comments on “SEC Operation Spamalot: Suspends Trades Of 35 Companies Promoted By Stock Spam”

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Heath Ackley says:

Short-term performance?

Well, these appear to be pump and dump schemes. Which means, you could make some great money if you buy the day after you get a spam e-mail and sell before the market closes that afternoon. Over any long period, the risk in these companies is like buying junk bonds times 10. Actually, I wonder if a monte carlo simulation could be run on OTC stocks and give them credit ratings? Overall recommendation: drag and drop into trash.

a says:

You really don’t want to get involved with these type of stocks. You just never know exactly what game is being played, while the people playing them do.

Maybe its being done by a brokerage company that is planning to sell what they own, and they just want to firm the price up so when they move it doens’t go down. Maybe its a pump and dump, maybe someone just decides to hurt someone that day.

Wall Street is fucked up, houses will see a competitor take a short position and drive the price up, just to crush someone. Never bet money that matters when the big boys are just playing a game.

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