Late last month we saw a massive penny stocks spam email campaign touting shares of RNBI. This week, a smaller, but equally serious pump and dump spam of TapImmune Inc. (TPIV) hit email servers.
See how the the RNBI campaign failed and our other articles about it in the SpamStopsHere blog.
What is a Penny Stocks "Pump and Dump" Scam?
With a market cap of less than $50 million, nano-cap companies are especially susceptible to Microcap stock fraud schemes like these. The companies are often also "penny stocks" companies, with their normal share price under $5.
It's an old scam. Owners of the stock try to drive up the price with misleading or overblown positive information (the "pump") and then quickly sell off their shares (the "dump") at the inflated price, netting a huge profit. Of course, gullible investors are left holding the bag.
About This Penny Stocks Scam
This scam came in the form of spam email, unsolicited and sent in bulk to a large number of email addresses. Here's what it looked like:
The campaign claims that shares are expected to hit almost $7. With TPIV trading so far today at under $2, that's a pretty remarkable claim. The company has traded much higher at times in the past, but it mostly behaves like a penny stock.
The graphic tells readers that the stock is "primed" to head much higher, with a "new" target of $6.97. Well, that's not exactly "new" news. The note issued on 7/1/2014 by SeeThruEquity (quoted in the email) was "reiterating" SeeThruEquity's former target which they initiated back on 5/27/2014.
Well, guess what happened back then? For two days, the price of TPIV climbed from $1.66 to $1.99 (up 20%) as trading volume surged, and then dropped to $1.55 (down 22%) over the next two days.
Then it hovered at under $2 until July 1, 2014, when SeeThruEquity reiterated the May target. Share prices swelled to a close of $2.5 the next day, then headed back down.
Yesterday, the day we saw and blocked the spam campaign, TPIV opened at $2.20, dropped to $1.81 and then closed over 15% lower at $1.90 on a fairly high volume of over 72,000.
Perhaps the best part of the image is the disclaimer that claims and statements in this "Investors Newsletter" should be deemed "apochryphal", which Google defines as "of doubtful authenticity, although widely circulated as being true." Exactly.
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