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Influx of German Stock Spam

Summary:
Large numbers of spam messages in German are currently hitting inboxes. The messages appear to be typical "Pump and Dump" scams that are aimed at the German stock markets rather than those in the United States or elsewhere (Full commentary below).





Example:
Aufmerksamkeit Anleger und Aktienhändler 200% Gewinn ist moglich in diese wunderbar Fond!

WKN: A0MLLZ
ISIN: US60742Q1094
TICKER SYMBOL:: Frankfurt: MM1
Die Gesellschaftsname: Mobilemail, Inc.
PWarum sagen wir solche hohe Profits in dieser Fond in zwei Woche vorher?
Die Antwort ist seht leicht, denn Mobilemail (Frankfurt: MM1) ermöglicht einer von die flammenden Investmentsectors herum - Mobile Kommunikation und Inhalt. Profits kann man voraussagen: sie konnen sich verdoppeln in das fiskalische Jahr 2007 im Vergleich zu 2006. Mit Hilfe der technologischen Partner wie z.B. T-Mobile, Vodafone, Virgin Mobile und Orange wir wissen, dass ihre Infrastruktur hervorragend und Businessbereit ist. Heutzutage Mobilemail hast mehr als 7000 Kunden in der ganzen Welt einschließlich solche Namen wie Redbull, Honda, IBM, AOL und McDonalds.

[Remainder of message removed]






Commentary:
Recently, I have noticed an influx of spam message written in German. The messages appear to be typical "Pump and Dump" scams that are aimed at the German stock markets rather than those in the United States or elsewhere.

The goal of this sort of spam, be it English or German, is to influence the stock price of targeted companies so that the spammer can make a quick profit on his or her shares. There are various angles on the ruse, but the primary goal is to get a lot of extra investors to trade on the specified company thus altering the price of stock in a way favourable to the spammer.

Overall, unsolicited stock related messages have become one of the most common types of spam. Thus, it is apparently an effective and profitable strategy for those responsible.

At first glance, it would seem reasonable to assume that the company named in the spam messages was responsible for sending them. However according to an article on Spamnation.info, the targeted companies are rarely the ones responsible for the messages and "most stock spams are sent by third-party speculators".

As with any other kind of spam, the best policy with this German stock spam is simply to delete it, either manually or via spam filtering. Spam is successful because a significant number of recipients actually respond to spam messages by buying the advertised products or services, or in this case, stock shares.

Spam is a huge problem with no easy solutions. However, you can ensure that you do not add to the problem by never doing business with spammers. Never reply to spam messages or click on included links. Never purchase products or services advertised in spam. Every time a recipient buys something promoted in a spam message they give the spammers the incentive to continue spewing their garbage across the Internet. In my opinion, those who buy from spammers are almost as guilty as those who send it and should be held accountable for their actions.

References:
Spammers get bullish on stocks
Study shows stock spam boosts prices
Spamnation: Stock Spam FAQ

Last updated: 8th June 2007
First published: 8th June 2007

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen

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