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Spammers Offer To Assist Companies For Tricking Stocks

A newly reported spam scam has been inviting users to participate in organized crime. With the rising efficiency in anti-spam software in protecting corporate email accounts, spammers have been compelled to seek new techniques in passing off their messages through the most effective filters.

With an eye on stock market manipulation, spammers have started making offers to firms to increase share prices for a percentage as fee. The term coined by Sophos for it is 'pump-and-dump' stock spam campaign.

The way these pump-and-dump campaigns function is by purchasing stocks at low prices and pumping up their value by convincing the buyers about the credibility and prospects of the stock. This is done by 'good news' spam that fabricated news about the positive performance of a concerned company. The spammers make huge profits by selling these 'deceiving' stocks.

Security experts at Sophos discovered an email offer of a free one-day trial to company heads. In the latest trend for this scheme, it isn't would-be investors who are being wooed by spammers, but the actual companies to get a share of the action for a percentage fee much lower than the one for investors.

A recent variation was noted in an email campaign, with spammers announcing to companies that their stock prices can be raised by as much as 250 percent in a matter of two or three weeks, along with a free one-day trial. The email further informs that investors can avail advice from spammers on future share price fluctuations in return for 30 percent of the income.

Senior technology consultant at Sophos, George Cluley explains that these criminals don't just boost their own share prices through artificial market playing. They have become bold enough to try and get paid by the companies concerned. Therefore scammers now provide investors with information on future stock manipulations. With active manipulation of stock prices by means of false information through junk email, they are able to get an idea of the shares most likely to move positions next.

On no account should investors entertain any of these offers unless they want to land themselves up in a criminal sting, which will cost them dearly. Companies need the protection of a consolidated solution that is capable of warding off threats of spam, spyware and viruses.

Related article: Spammers Continue their Campaigns Successfully

» SPAMfighter News - 9/12/2006

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