Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Investing in a Bubble Mania Stock Market Trending Towards Financial Crisis 2.0 CRASH! - 9th Sep 21
2.Tech Stocks Bubble Valuations 2000 vs 2021 - 25th Sep 21
3.Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
4.Stock Market FOMO Hits September Brick Wall - Evergrande China's Lehman's Moment - 22nd Sep 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
7.AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
8.Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
9.Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
10.Global Stock Markets Topped 60 Days Before the US Stocks Peaked - 23rd Sep 21
Last 7 days
Chinese Tech Stocks CCP Paranoia and Best AI Tech Stocks ETF - 26th Oct 21
Food Prices & Farm Inputs Getting Hard to Stomach - 26th Oct 21
Has Zillow’s Collapse Signaled A Warning For The Capital Markets? - 26th Oct 21
Dave Antrobus Welcomes Caribou to Award-Winning Group Inc & Co - 26th Oct 21
Stock Market New Intermediate uptrend - 26th Oct 21
Investing in Crypto Currencies With Both Eyes WIDE OPEN! - 25th Oct 21
Is Bitcoin a Better Inflation Hedge Than Gold? - 25th Oct 21
S&P 500 Stirs the Gold Pot - 25th Oct 21
Stock Market Against Bond Market Odds - 25th Oct 21
Inflation Consequences for the Stock Market, FED Balance Sheet - 24th Oct 21
To Be or Not to Be: How the Evergrande Crisis Can Affect Gold Price - 24th Oct 21
During a Market Mania, "no prudent professional is perceived to add value" - 24th Oct 21
Stock Market S&P500 Rallies Above $4400 – May Attempt To Advance To $4750~$4800 - 24th Oct 21
Inflation and the Crazy Crypto Markets - 23rd Oct 21
Easy PC Upgrades with Motherboard Combos - Overclockers UK Unboxing - MB, Memory and Ryzen 5600x CPU - 23rd Oct 21
Gold Mining Stocks Q3 2021 - 23rd Oct 21
Gold calmly continues cobbling its Handle, Miners lay in wait - 23rd Oct 21
US Economy Has Been in an Economic Depression Since 2008 - 22nd Oct 21
Extreme Ratios Point to Gold and Silver Price Readjustments - 22nd Oct 21
Bitcoin $100K or Ethereum $10K—which happens first? - 22nd Oct 21
This Isn’t Sci-Fi: How AI Is About To Disrupt This $11 Trillion Industry - 22nd Oct 21
Ravencoin RVN About to EXPLODE to NEW HIGHS! Last Chance to Buy Before it goes to the MOON! - 21st Oct 21
Stock Market Animal Spirits Returning - 21st Oct 21
Inflation Advances, and So Does Gold — Except That It Doesn’t - 21st Oct 21
Why A.I. Is About To Trigger The Next Great Medical Breakthrough - 21st Oct 21
Gold Price Slowly Going Nowhere - 20th Oct 21
Shocking Numbers Show Government Crowding Out Real Economy - 20th Oct 21
Crude Oil Is in the Fast Lane, But Where Is It Going? - 20th Oct 21
3 Tech Stocks That Could Change The World - 20th Oct 21
Best AI Tech Stocks ETF and Investment Trusts - 19th Oct 21
Gold Mining Stocks: Will Investors Dump the Laggards? - 19th Oct 21
The Most Exciting Medical Breakthrough Of The Decade? - 19th Oct 21
Prices Rising as New Dangers Point to Hard Assets - 19th Oct 21
It’s not just Copper; GYX indicated cyclical the whole time - 19th Oct 21
Chinese Tech Stocks CCP Paranoia, VIES - Variable Interest Entities - 19th Oct 21
Inflation Peaked Again, Right? - 19th Oct 21
Gold Stocks Bouncing Hard - 19th Oct 21
Stock Market New Intermediate Bottom Forming? - 19th Oct 21
Beware, Gold Bulls — That’s the Beginning of the End - 18th Oct 21
Gold Price Flag Suggests A Big Rally May Start Soon - 18th Oct 21
Inflation Or Deflation – End Result Is Still Depression - 18th Oct 21
A.I. Breakthrough Could Disrupt the $11 Trillion Medical Sector - 18th Oct 21
US Economy and Stock Market Addicted to Deficit Spending - 17th Oct 21
The Gold Price And Inflation - 17th Oct 21
Went Long the Crude Oil? Beware of the Headwinds Ahead… - 17th Oct 21
Watch These Next-gen Cloud Computing Stocks - 17th Oct 21
Overclockers UK Custom Built PC 1 YEAR Use Review Verdict - Does it Still Work? - 16th Oct 21
Altonville Mine Tours Maze at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 16th Oct 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

How Twitter Social Media Stock Scams Could Put Your Money at Risk

Companies / Scams Mar 13, 2013 - 03:15 PM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Companies

David Zeiler writes: Social media stock scams - the use of tools like Twitter to spread misinformation to manipulate equities - is one more thing for retail investors to worry about.

A series of incidents over the past several months have put social media stock scams on the radar screens of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).


While securities fraud is an old problem, stock scams conducted via social media are more capable of causing maximum damage because of the rapid speed at which information spreads over social networks.

"Fraudsters are quick to adapt to new technologies to exploit them for unlawful purposes," Robert B. Kaplan, co-chief of the SEC Enforcement Division's Asset Management Unit, told the Financial Times. "Social media is no exception."

And you don't have to act on the misinformation yourself (such as acting on a false stock tip to buy a penny stock in a "pump-and-dump" scheme) to get hurt by the bad guys.

Like any type of securities fraud, social media stock scams can influence the decisions of investors to buy or sell.

But of greater concern is the increasing weight that social media traffic has on automated trading. Many private equity firms and hedge funds now incorporate data from social media streams because news often breaks there first.

"What we're starting to see now is people looking at Twitter to see key information," Charlie Irish, a technology consultant in London who advises financial clients on how to use new trading platforms, told the Huffington Post. "Quite often, you'll see data released on Twitter a few minutes before it hits the mainstream financial press."

Two Social Media Stock Scams Use Twitter
Two incidents that occurred at the end of January illustrate how vulnerable automated trading can be to a social media stock scam.

The victims were two small-cap companies (which are more susceptible to this sort of short-term manipulation) - audio chip maker Audience Inc. (Nasdaq: ADNC) and biopharmaceutical Sarepta Therapeutics (Nasdaq: SRPT).

The attack on Audience struck on Jan. 29. Someone created a fake Twitter account intended to fool people into thinking it belonged to Carson Block of Muddy Waters Research, a firm best known for following Chinese companies and exposing their accounting problems.

Human traders ignored the series of lunchtime tweets, which suggested Audience was under investigation by the Department of Justice for fraud.

But at 2:20 pm. ADNC shares suddenly plunged 25%, which suggested that automated trading systems programmed to scan social media for negative news reacted to the tweets. The stock recovered 16 minutes later, but it shows how easily a social media stock scam can be executed.

"It's trade and ask questions later," Jamie Lisette, president of The Hammerstone Group, told the Huffington Post. Lisette said "tons of bots" are always on the lookout for negative news in the social media sphere, and less-sophisticated ones can be fooled by stock scams most humans would recognize.

The day after the Audience incident, someone else created a fake Twitter account for Citron Research and sent out negative tweets about Sarepta Therapeutics, causing that stock to fall 9% in seconds.

These perpetrators can get creative too.

In an episode last month, one enterprising wrongdoer used a fake Twitter account to impersonate well-known investor David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital to try to create the impression that Einhorn was siding with fund manager Carl Icahn in his very public spat with fund manager Bill Ackman over Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF).

People can even get in trouble unintentionally. In December, Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings tweeted that Netflix users had streamed 1 billion hours of video in June and was notified by the SEC that it could be a violation of fair-disclosure rules.

Dealing with Social Media Stock Scams
While the SEC and FBI have been aware of social media stock scams for at least a year, that hasn't made it any easier to stop them.

However, they plan to treat it the same as any other securities fraud, and those who are caught will be punished.

And there have been a few successes. In January 2012 the SEC charged a financial advisor with using LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) to sell fake stocks.

"As some violators have learned the hard way, using social media to defraud investors leaves an electronic trail of footprints for our investigators to follow," John Nester, a spokesman for the SEC, told Reuters.

But ultimately, the best defense against social media stock scams is constant vigilance, both by individual investors paying attention to where they're getting their stock news and companies reacting quickly to counteract bad information.

"Whether it's untrue or semi-true rumors, the days where corporate press offices could sit and think things over for 24 hours are over," Jonathan Armstrong, a partner at Duane Morris who specializes in Internet law, told FOX Business Network. "If companies aren't prepared, a lie will travel more than the truth can."

Source :http://moneymorning.com/2013/03/11/how-social-media-stock-scams-could-put-your-money-at-risk/

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2013 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in