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Triple Quotation Marks This Is Why Triple Quotation Marks Is So Famous!

Promoters of penny stocks about angle these high-risk investments as if they were admired absolute estate, like beach property. With little money down, you can accomplish a quick-and-easy profit. But in reality, penny stocks are added like swampland. And now, acknowledgment to spam, the muck is overextension at an alarming rate, and efforts to stop it accept so far been as able as acclimation the course not to appear in.

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You apparently besmirched an e-mail bulletin aftermost December touting Goldmark Industries. A spam advance predicted that investors would acquire amazing returns. One e-mail, which anticipation the banal would accretion 1,077%, said, “Watch GDKI [Goldmark’s symbol] arise on Wednesday, Dec. 20!”

Maybe you didn’t bite, but abounding others did. On December 19, the day afore the spam advance began, Goldmark bankrupt at 17 cents a share. Nine canicule later, back the spam battery ended, the banal bankrupt at 35 cents. Those who captivated the banal afore the e-mail advance angled their money. Investors who bought at the top absent their shirts. The banal bankrupt at 6 cents in mid April.

If you anticipate we’re talking about chump change, anticipate again. The Securities and Barter Bureau says spam campaigns announcement Goldmark and 34 added stocks that the bureau afresh abeyant from trading for ten canicule beggared investors of tens of millions of dollars. And those 35 are aloof a few acreage of the swamp. The SEC estimates that 100 actor stock-spam letters are beatific daily. Postini, an e-mail-security company, says the aggregate of spam that hypes stocks has developed 120% in the accomplished six months, and that about one-fifth of all spam is stock-related. (On April 13, the SEC abeyant trading on three added penny stocks that it doubtable were actuality manipulated through spam campaigns.)

Spammers never let facts get in the way. Take an e-mail about Goldmark beatific aftermost October, afore the advance cited by the SEC. The agenda claimed that Goldmark, which says it produces and distributes hip-hop music, films and TV shows, had addled a accord with rap administrator Sean “Diddy” Combs. A Combs adumbrative says the affirmation was fiction. None of the firms whose stocks were suspended, including Goldmark, accede captivation in the spam campaigns.

People abaft those campaigns accept a big bend over those who buy on the hype: They apperceive back the spam will end. A well-executed spam advance can aftermath triple-digit assets in a amount of days. Because of a December spam campaign, for example, the banal of Apparel Manufacturing Associates rose from 6 cents to 45 cents in aloof bristles days. It was amid the stocks afterwards abeyant by the SEC.

Almost all banal spam is illegal. That’s because these e-mails breach the Securities Act of 1933, which, amid added things, confined paid promoters from touting stocks afterwards advice the capacity of their compensation. Spam that doesn’t acquiesce you to opt out of the e-mail account (and best banal spam does not) additionally violates the 2003 CAN-SPAM Act, as able-bodied as accompaniment anti-spam laws.

You may accept noticed that your spam acquaintance is absolution added banal touts through. That’s because spammers accept become added sophisticated. The e-mails you accessible attending ordinary, but abounding letters are in the anatomy of agenda images that spam filters can’t read. And spammers abstain apprehension by application computer bacilli to affect all-inclusive networks of computers, which again advertise millions of e-mails.

Stock spam would atrophy afterwards a advantageous accumulation of junk-company shares, of which there is no curtailment in the U.S. Best of these low-priced, agilely traded stocks are begin on the Pink Sheets and the OTC Bulletin Board. NASD, the self-regulatory anatomy of the allowance industry, runs the OTCBB, and stocks quoted by this account charge annals with the SEC. That cuts bottomward — but doesn’t annihilate — the cardinal of stocks that can be manipulated. The Pink Sheets, a clandestine company, permits stocks that don’t book with the SEC to be listed on its service.

NASD won’t adventure a assumption at the cardinal of OTCBB stocks complex in penny-stock spam. Cromwell Coulson, arch controlling of the Pink Sheets, estimates that 10% of the added than 4,800 stocks that barter on his account are accessible marks for spammers because the companies accommodate little or no banking information. The Pink Sheets has chock-full commendation prices for the 35 stocks the SEC abeyant as able-bodied as shares of added than 300 companies about which the aggregation has accustomed spam-related complaints from investors.

Suspending trading may advice cesspool the swamp — although how able the tactic is charcoal to be seen. Added methods of ambidextrous with the bellyful of banal spam are shutting bottomward or prosecuting promoters, educating investors, and abatement stocks that are accomplished for manipulation.

Although actionable e-mail touts are about untraceable, added markets accept developed means of endlessly abyss from pumping up allotment prices. For example, the able Vancouver Banal Barter was continued home to abounding penny stocks that were accountable to “pump and dump” schemes. But in the backward 1990s, Canadian regulators began acute admiral and promoters of small-company stocks to annals their promotional activities and abide to accomplishments checks.

As a result, Canada alone the best arrant penny-stock scams, says Martin Eady, administrator of accumulated accounts at the British Columbia Securities Commission. Regulators able bottomward adamantine adjoin those who breach the rules. In November 2005, for example, the bureau abeyant Ray Dabney, admiral of Xraymedia, afterwards he accepted to sending out 22 apocryphal account releases about the company. Several Xraymedia admiral serve on Goldmark’s board, and the two companies allotment the aforementioned Vancouver address, according to filings with the Pink Sheets. Xraymedia was the accountable of a 2003 spam campaign, according to Spamnation.info, a Web armpit that advance penny-stock spam. Shares of Xraymedia are quoted on the Pink Sheets. Although barred from the Pink Sheets, Goldmark shares may still barter if a agent is accommodating to advertise them to investors (few are).

Because markets arctic of the bound are acrimonious to banal scammers, they focus their efforts on Canadian companies that barter in the U.S., area they face beneath restrictions, says the Pink Sheets’ Coulson. Eady estimates that added than 660 companies from British Columbia are quoted on the OTCBB and the Pink Sheets but don’t barter on a Canadian exchange. Canadian regulators are because alike tougher measures to arrest their civil banal scammers, Eady says, alike admitting best investors ripped off by their spam alive in the U.S.

Not all spam involves Canadian companies. Coulson believes that groups of scammers based in Florida, Nevada and Texas advertising abounding U.S.-based companies that are the capacity of pump-and-dump campaigns.

As a applied matter, prosecuting spammers isn’t easy. For a promoter’s claims to run afield of the SEC, the law states that a “reasonable” actuality would accept to accept a touter’s claims are true, says Donald Langevoort, a Georgetown University law assistant and a above SEC appropriate counsel. But because best reasonable bodies would not accept the claims, the law doesn’t appearance abounding of these assertions as illegal, he says. The SEC says it knows who orchestrated the spam campaigns abaft some of the 35 stocks it briefly suspended. But as of mid April, the bureau hadn’t lodged complaints adjoin any of the perpetrators.

The best way to assure investors is to accumulate reminding them of the dangers of acting on e-mail touts. Over the accomplished three years, NASD has issued six alerts about banal spam on its Web site, but the believing abide to be taken in. “Only broker apprenticeship can accept a absolute effect,” says Langevoort.


Not all touting of penny stocks is illegal. Jonathan Lebed runs a acknowledged acclaim business. On February 5, he active a arrangement to advance the banal of mPhase Technologies, accepting 400,000 shares as compensation. In return, he beatific out dozens of e-mail letters to his bags of readers. A February 8 e-mail said mPhase banal “is activity to the MOON and NOTHING will authority it back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Hyperbolic e-mails of this array about actualize a self-fulfilling prophecy. In this case, mPhase shares, which barter on the OTC Bulletin Lath beneath the attribute XDSL.OB, rose from 16 cents at the alpha of the advance to 27 cents in aloof 11 days. In mid April, the banal traded at 15 cents.

As a teenager, Lebed acquired ballyhoo as the youngest actuality anytime prosecuted by the Securities and Barter Commission. The SEC accused him of cutting up hundreds of bags of dollars in profits by visiting Internet babble apartment and talking up “micro cap” stocks he owned. Lebed adjourned a adjustment in which he did not accept atrocity but agreed to cost $285,000 in profits additional interest. Now 22, he says he wants to advice acceptable companies acquisition investors. His account alcove 5,000 bodies who accept active up for his e-mails. Every e-mail discloses the banal and banknote payments he receives on account of a “third party.” That’s all he needs to do to break legal.

There may be a bigger band-aid than education: anecdotic stocks that are accomplished for manipulation. Coulson affairs to characterization Pink Sheets stocks doubtable of actuality complex in pump-and-dump schemes with a skull-and-crossbones on the Pink Sheets Web site. He has additionally proposed that the SEC crave added advice about promoters who accurately acclaim stocks. An SEC agent says the bureau is reviewing Coulson’s angle but adds that the bureau doesn’t accept the ability to appoint Canadian-style rules afterwards aldermanic action. Congress hasn’t advised any legislation to absolute penny-stock spam or bind banal promoters.

Meanwhile, banal spammers apish efforts to impede them. On March 11, alone three canicule afterwards the SEC appear its crackdown, a flood of spam accustomed United Environmental Energy (UTEV) as a “HOT NEW SEC APPROVED STOCK FOR YOUR ATTENTION!” The spam asserted that United was not a “Pump&Dump” stock. Over the abutting four days, the shares rose from 5 cents to 40 cents, again bound fell to 10 cents. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., company, which does not book banking statements with the SEC, says it was not complex in the spam campaign.

Penny stocks get the acquisitiveness glands activity — with acceptable reason. It’s a lot easier for a 10-cent banal to bifold or amateur in no time than it is for a $100 stock, alike admitting price, by itself, is not a admeasurement of value. But penny stocks — authentic by the Securities and Barter Bureau as those that don’t barter on Nasdaq or on an barter and advertise for beneath than $5 — are about far riskier than higher-priced stocks. If you’re still tempted by bargain stocks, actuality are some means you can abstain actuality ripped off.

Look for the financials. Tiny companies don’t accept to book audited banking letters with the SEC. If a aggregation you’re absorbed in doesn’t file, break away. Banking abstracts for best penny stocks accustomed in e-mails is either abominable or nonexistent.

Check the bazaar value. Not all bargain stocks are baby companies. If a company’s bazaar amount (share amount times shares outstanding) is $50 actor or more, affairs are it’s legit. Amid the stocks afresh recommended by the Turnaround Letter, a newsletter with a above stock-picking record, bristles traded in mid April for beneath than $5 but sported bazaar capitalizations of $218 actor and up. The best known: Gateway, the computer maker, with anniversary sales of $4 billion and a bazaar amount of $848 million. It traded at $2.23.

Don’t bet the ranch. Use alone a baby allocation of your money to dabble in penny stocks and buy alone if you can allow to lose 100% of your investment.

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