London, UK (06th September 2006) – SoftScan announced today that it has seen a new twist to the traditional “pump and dump” scam emails that hype up stocks and shares. Scammers have now taken a leaf out of the 50’s film industry to included subliminal messaging in their emails to encourage users to buy, buy, buy!
Pump and dump emails have been around for a while, encouraging recipients to buy a particular stock or share on the basis of new product innovation or fantastic ‘news’. In this latest pump and dump scam, SoftScan has discovered that an image appears for a split second every so often in the email with the word ‘buy’ repeated several times.
Once enough people have bought the stock, the instigator of the email sells their stock and makes a healthy profit, whilst those scammed are left holding possibly worthless shares.
Bo Engelbrechtsen, corporate communications manager of SoftScan comments, “Pump and dump email scams have grown considerably in recent months and they are continually adapting in a bid to beat the spam filters by using techniques such as Bayesian poisoning. However, this latest twist using advertising techniques banned from films in the late 50’s combined is an interesting development and is aimed purely at encouraging the recipient to buy. "
Though it appears that this technique is being used mainly for American stocks, it is likely that it will spread to other countries and users should be on their guard.
Bo Engelbrechtsen continues, “The effectiveness of subliminal messages has been widely argued for years, but one thing is clear if you’re planning on investing in a company, make your own enquiries or consult a professional don’t believe an email from a service you didn’t subscribe to.”
Established in Denmark in 2002, SoftScan provides a fully managed email security and archiving service that relieves organisations from the burden of using internal resources, whilst enabling full configurability to comply with company policy. SoftScan’s award-winning service protects over 250,000 users in more than 100 countries by combining three market leading virus scanners with its proven heuristic scanner, Paranoid, to deliver one of the most effective virus and spam filters in the world. Paranoid’s powerful, intelligent scanning capability enables it to stop viruses as yet undetected by conventional scanners, delivering zero-day protection.
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