LinkedIn spam leads to pump-and-dump stock scam

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

We used to see a lot of pump-and-dump stock spam.

Pump-and-dump stock manipulation works like this:

  • Spammers purchase stock in companies trading at very low levels, at a cheap price
  • The spammers artificially inflate the stock’s price by encouraging others to purchase more (often by spamming “good news” about the company to others).
  • They then sell off their stock at a profit, often causing the stock price to slump for those who made the mistake of investing.

Global recession, jail sentences, and tighter regulation by the SEC seemed to largely kill off stock spam a few years ago.

So, we were interested when Naked Security reader Ivan forwarded us an unsolicited email he received, claiming to come from a user of LinkedIn:

Catarina Meadows requested to add you as a connection on LinkedIn:

Ivan,

You have to see this…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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