Bad April Fool's Joke: Give Away Millions In Fake Money; Users Start Trading With It

from the how-to-define-a-bad-idea dept

See Update Below. Well here's an idea that must have sounded good at one point. Upstart online brokerage Zecco (already known for pulling attention-grabbing stunts) had the bright idea for April Fool's Day to load up users' balances with much more money than they actually had -- sometimes millions more. Except... it looks like they never bothered to make sure people couldn't use that money. So plenty of users started making trades with the fake money... and when Zecco realized it, the company apparently started to force sell, even at a loss, charging the losses to the customers along with a "$19.99 broker-assisted trading fee." Oops. Update: Consumerist has updated their post with a message from Zecco claiming that it was not an April Fool's joke, but noting "Some clients may experience incorrect display of Buying Power and Account Balances." It's not entirely clear how those "incorrect displays" were apparently off by millions in some cases. Update 2: Zecco is again insisting this was not an April Fool's joke and that it was "a bad feed" from a vendor. It's not entirely clear why it took the firm 5 days to explain that, however...

Filed Under: april fool's, fake money, trading
Companies: zecco


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  1. identicon
    JT, 6 Apr 2009 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re:

    While I agree they shouldn't have touched the money and I wouldn't have, Zecco needs to take responsibility for faults in their system.

    If I were using them, I'd immediately pull my money, whether I was affected by the story or not. Millions of dollars? Sounds like, complete idiots are running the company, not just behind the buy button.

    The company needs to be fully investigated and individual should be brought up on charges if something is found...Especially if it was a Aprils fool joke gone terribly wrong (whether their dismissing that or not).

    Either way, it's ridiculous to put it all on the customers. I wonder what happens to the person that had $14k and actually made money? Charge people individually for the losses and seize money that people came out ahead with?

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