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:
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
The Name of Company Promoted, Inc.
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
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.