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
    FrankC, 12 Apr 2009 @ 2:29pm

    Zecco customer account balances

    Be careful with Zecco. In two separate months they charged me margin interest, though I made no marginable trades. The second month (Feb 2009), there was NO activity at all & they charged my account interest as well as issued a margin call! Only 20 cents worth but still very scary.
    I transfered out to TradeKing. (So far, this was an easy application & quick transfer process. But option trade executions seem to be very slow)

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