Spammers are at it again; this time taking advantage of the recent financial market fluctuations.
“Pump-and-dump stock” scams have become popular among hackers hoping to gain profits on intentionally overvalued penny stocks. These email scams are pumped by their owners to inflate the price of the stocks as much as possible. This is so that they may then be dumped before their value lowers to the original worth. Using fake information, the criminals try to sway the victim that the penny stock is worth more than it is, or that it will soon skyrocket.
When they work, these scams can actually falsely increase the price of the stock where the scammers decide to sell their share. This ends the spam campaign and lowers the stock back to its original price.
Most “pump-and-dump” stock email scams have been targeting North American users. They are recognized by the random line breaks and spaces between words and sentences, or poorly translated texts within the email or subject lines.
While it’s hard to get inside the head of a cyber criminal, one thing is for sure: these bad guys continue to use current news and events to steal confidential information for profit.