a stock holder guide to avoiding micro-cap fraud

Up-to-date, accurate Information is still your best tool when it comes to investing in stocks prudently and effectively. But data on “penny stocks” stocks that trade for about $5 or less are often quite difficult to search out. Many companies that issue these stocks don’t have to file financial updates with the SEC, so it’s actually quite hard for potential investors to get real facts about the penny stock companys management/officers, products/services, and finances.

This terrible lack of information paves way for fraudsters to spread out false facts and rip off clueless investors. Consequently, they profit while investors lose out. But, there are ways to identify penny stock scams and here are five of them:

Spam is equal to Scam. It’s common for fraudsters to distribute junk mail or spam in the internet. These kinds of emails contain nothing but false and deceiving information about penny stock companies which are sent to as many people as possible. If you find one in your inbox, delete it right away.

Promo Plays. Penny stock companies would usually employ third party firms to make promotional campaigns aimed at increasing their stocks exposure. These include advertising in television, radio and online shows. The junk files that you receive usually come from these promoters who are paid to advertise penny stock campaigns. Even if there is a law requiring them to reveal the sponsor, a lot of fraudsters do not comply or just make people believe that they have a good financial donor.

Heating it up with Cold Calls. Cold calling is one of the tactics of dishonest stockbrokers. In most cases, there is a sales force tasked to cold call as many investors as possible in a day. These people push investors to deposit their cash for “house stocks”, or stocks which the firm markets, acquires or keeps in its inventory. But the only purpose of this tactic is to drive up the stock prices.

Wrong Number…Or Is It Really? Beware of receiving a “misdialed” call from some stranger, leaving a “hot” or “don’t-miss-this” investment tip for their “friend.” Such messages are designed to sound as if the caller didn’t know or realize that they were leaving the “hot tip” with a wrong number. If you get that kind of message, it’s often not a wrong number at all! More likely it’s from someone being paid to leave such messages to random listings of phone numbers.

It’s All About PR! Penny stock fraudsters sometimes issue press releases containing hyped-up or exaggerated data, or sometimes even outright fabrications, about their microcap’s sales, assets and/or acquisitions, projected revenues, or new products/services. These questionable PRs are then announced through legitimate financial websites and online news portals. For instance, in the classic “pump and dump” scheme, messages are posted on the Net aggressively, urging readers to buy a penny stock quickly, or to sell before its price plummets.

In general, using the above ploys, hawksters will claim to possess “inside information” regarding impending developments, or else use a so-called “infallible” combination of economic-indicator and stock-market data to pick out good stocks. But remember: Once these fraudsters have sold enough shares, the stock’s price typically falls…and plenty of bamboozled investors lose their hard-earned money.

The author of this paper has distinguished an investment guru by the name of Josh Yudell. I believe Josh Yudell is a Wall Street veteran, having spent his entire career in the fields of investor relations and investment banking.

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