Pump And Dump

I probably get more spam than you. My address is plastered on thousands of web pages visible across the Internet. It is, literally and figuratively, ripe for the harvesting.

Without the spam protection provided by Thunderbird, my email client, I’d be lost¹. I still browse my spam box to make sure nothing I want is there, but it takes much less time since I already know it’s probably garbage.

Over time the spam has changed. I don’t get as much porn spam as I once did. I still get lots of meds for losing weight, gaining virility and recovering fortunes squirreled away by African despot’s aids.

More than anything, I get ‘pump and dump’ stock spam. This form of email garbage has exploded in recent months.

In case you haven’t seen these, here’s the text from one I got three dozen times this weekend:

Our picks bring our readers BIG gains! Why? Because we present well-researched, quality companies backed by promotions which have

the ears of investors around the globe. When you have GREAT product

and unrivaled PR you get super gains! This one is just what your

portfolio needs:

The Name of Company Promoted, Inc.

Symbol: XXXX

Current Price: $0.96

Projected Price: $3.20 (330% gain)

XXXX is has an incredible business model in a booming sector. Look

around you. Everything is being standardized and franchised. XXXX

is a company specializing in the development and expansion of proven

independent restaurant concepts into multi-unit locations. Business has

been booming!

A huge publicity campaign is beginning and will be supported by some

astounding press releases. It is imperative to get in before the first big

announcement. Readers, this is a big one. Don’t miss this chance!

Three dozen of these!

I know that because they all have similar subject lines, making them easier to segregate. Though they’re sent from random names, spam ‘from’ Gladys Jones would have the subject, “It me Gladys.” Spam from Geoff Fox says, “It me Geoff.”

My beef isn’t that there’s spam going out (that’s a separate beef), or even spam with poor grammar. My beef is the SEC is either powerless or unwilling to do anything about this. Can’t they make connections on who is in and out of these thinly traded stocks?

As long as these spams exist, they call into question the integrity of our markets. Yes, these may be small players, participating in relatively minor crimes, but they reflect on our financial system as a whole.

When Rudy Giuliani became mayor of New York, he quickly went after “quality of life” crimes. They were mostly small nuisances.

“We only achieved the drastic reductions in crime then because we focused not only on murder

2 Responses to “Pump And Dump”

  1. Try a server based one, like “Spam Assassin” or something, usually your web hosting company has this in your control panel for free. There is the added benefit of server based spam protection with all the human users voting email spam out, and if you like you can still opt to have the email sent to you with a “filtered” subject line.

    Or just get a Gmail account (it does all the above).

  2. Scott says:

    There is another reason for spam (one of the many) and that is that some are just designed to elicit a response. Once they have the response, they know they have a legitimate address, then they add it to a list and once that list is large enough they sell it and make a bundle. Knowing the list is confirmed , legit address makes them worth it to the folks who send the crap (funny, same number of letters) out.

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