Con Artists Using "Wrong Number" Answering
Machine Messages to Snare Victims in New Scam Sweeping
PRESS RELEASE FROM SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
D.C., Aug. 19, 2004 — The
Securities and Exchange Commission today issued
an investor alert designed to warn Americans about
a new scam sweeping the country-answering machine
"wrong number" stock touts.
mail messages are appearing on home answering machines
from coast to coast saying that the stock price
of certain small, thinly traded companies will soon
shoot up. The breezy, intimate messages sound as
if a female caller mistakenly believes she has dialed
a girlfriend and is confiding inside information
she has learned from "that hot stock exchange
guy I'm dating."
believe these voice mails are part of a "pump
and dump" stock manipulation scheme, whereby
the people behind the messages intend to profit
by driving up the price of their targeted stocks,
then selling, and leaving victims with losses. The
SEC has received hundreds of complaints from investors
across the country about these misdirected voice
mails in recent days.
should never buy stocks on the basis of 'hot' tips
from strangers," said SEC Investor Education
Director Susan Wyderko. "We are concerned because
the stock prices of companies mentioned in these
calls have gone up, presumably as people listen
to the messages and buy. But in all 'pump and dump'
schemes, as soon as the promoter stops touting a
stock, the price plummets and other investors lose
SEC is asking investors who receive these kinds
of calls to let them know the company being touted,
the exact date and time the call was received, the
number called, and the number from which the call
was made, if available. E-mail the information to
Enforcement@sec.gov, or call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330.