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Stock Spamming On the Rise

Sometimes spammers send e-mails containing false stock information. These make a significant impact on the financial markets. Many investors inadvertently fall into the trap set by the spam. These include typically those, which talk about possible fortune from a risk prone stock. Often these people, innocent in what they are doing invest in the shares but soon find that the stock value plummets.

Spam mails classified as promoters of bogus financial offerings are increasing by the day. spammers lure spam mail recipients into purchasing particular stocks by making them believe that they have privileged information. Such information could tell about an acquisition before a formal declaration is made. In this way if a good number of individuals are led to invest in the fraudulent stock, spammers can artificially inflate the share price so that shareholders can sell their shares at profit. The spam entreats instant purchase of a company's share. Such uninvited e-mails are less expensive to send because of the low cost associated with acquiring e-mail address lists.

In time not long past Laura L. Frieder, professor of finance at Purdue, and Jonathan L. Zittrain, professor of 'Internet governance and regulation' at Oxford interpreted that association of spammers and virus writers has resulted millions of virus loaded computers converted into 'zombies' to distribute spam, bringing down the cost even further. Consequently a single sender can relay the same spam mail to thousands of e-mail ids in a very short time.

Stock campaigns, which usually run for brief periods, though send some accurate information but the fraudulent and unsolicited nature of these e-mails classifies them as spam. The messages often make mis-spelt words such as 'stox' for 'stocks'. This helps them to avoid spam filters, which fails to read messages that they are not accustomed to. Stock scams in conjunction with traditional phishing methods can lead to significant financial loss in the market.

Filtering is probably the best protection. However, stock spammers apply all possible means to avoid spam filters. Recent trend is to send messages as embedded images along with random "hashbuster" text with the intention to bypass filtering. The most immediate prevention for investors, however, is to disregard unsolicited e-mail messages.

Related article: Stock Spammers Use MP3 Files to Dupe Investors

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