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jongrose

Reporting Pump and Dump Penny Stocks

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Daily I generally receive around 5-10 emails with penny stock picks, which include the same stock ticker symbol, that are used as pump and dump schemes. They are usually pink sheet stocks, but sometimes they aren't.

For example, today was MXXR (source) and yesterday it was CNPM (source).

I always forward my reports to the FTC's spam address: spam[at]uce.gov. Whether that does any good, I don't know. However, doesn't the SEC have any interest in these frauds? From what I've been seeing recently, it seems that these types of emails have become more frequent, at least to my knowledge, but I haven't heard of anyone being prosecuted for these types of crimes.

The only place I found that seems to have an interest in gathering reports of p&d stock frauds is at junkfax.org where you can input the symbol, along with your info, in case you want to make a complaint. What they do with the data, I have no idea. But, it seems like there would be a lot more enforcement against this. Does anyone know more about it or any govt agency that takes interest in these types of things?

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Like most of us, you sound like you'd like to submit your complaint and then be able to read about the crooks going to jail the next day, restitution to the scammed coming from the forced liquidation of all those (claimed) profits and assets ... (that image offset a bit by the story of one spam office being busted that was awash in paper that the spammers basically didn't have enough time to handle ... checks, money orders, etc. from far to many gullible people)

The FTC address is basically one huge filing cabinet / repository. There is access provided to other Government agencies, law enforement agencies, etc. Your single complaint is not much more than a single piece of paper in that massive file cabinet. However, if your complaint ends up finding its way into a folder/drawer that is expanding to "this is some serious crap" stage, then it may finally attract enough attention on its own. Back to the basic problem of resources, staff, etc.

Stories about prosecutions usually include dates of the activities involved from years prior ...

Then you add in some agencies setting thresholds before something becomes 'important' ... such as the famous DDoS of the GRC.com web-site. Steve talked to various law enforcement agencies, to include the FBI, but ... couldn't substantiate the "business losses" 'needed' for most of those folks to get involved ....

The SEC has pretty much the same issue ... there are only so many people involved in doing investigation, prosecution ... when you've got idiots like those involved with Enron, stealing billions of dollars, it seems hard to imagine pulling folks off of that kind of case to go after some lowlife that is dealing with penny-stocks that might result in making a thousand or two in profit, due to people too dumb to breathe wanting to jump in and throw their money away ...

On the other hand, if all those spam-pitch spams weren't deleted by many receiving ISPs, deleted by so many users (be it by use of filters or manually hitting the Delete key) .... imagine all those actually being reported/subitted ... one would think that the sheer volume would lead to some faster attention-getting ??? The picture of you reporting / submitting your stock-spam but another 10-20 million folks "just hitting Delete" on their copy is definitely depressing ... just noting that from the place receiving the reports / comlaints, the problem is no where as big as "you" say it is, else they'd be receiving all those other complaints <g>

I'm probably way off target as far as answering your 'real' question .. but the groundwork had to be laid again ...

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spam[at]nasd.com & enforcement[at]sec.gov are the people you want to send those to.

NASD oversees the penny stocks and the SEC controls them. Becareful tho... I report them religiously and now the spammers are mad at me and send me 10x the spam.

Their loss, I'll just keep reporting and that means more and more of their zombie machines will hopefully be fixed by the ISP/hosts

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Like most of us, you sound like you'd like to submit your complaint and then be able to read about the crooks going to jail the next day, restitution to the scammed coming from the forced liquidation of all those (claimed) profits and assets ... (that image offset a bit by the story of one spam office being busted that was awash in paper that the spammers basically didn't have enough time to handle ... checks, money orders, etc. from far to many gullible people)

I realize action doesn't take place instantly. I'm also often dumbfounded by some things I see, for example, the FTC might file a lawsuit or force a company promoting fraudulent products to cease and desist advertising, yet I still continue to see their ads on TV, sometimes even years after the fact.

spam[at]nasd.com & enforcement[at]sec.gov are the people you want to send those to.

NASD oversees the penny stocks and the SEC controls them. Becareful tho... I report them religiously and now the spammers are mad at me and send me 10x the spam.

Their loss, I'll just keep reporting and that means more and more of their zombie machines will hopefully be fixed by the ISP/hosts

Do you report to those addresses through SpamCop's reporting system, or do you manually forward them? I was taking a look at the NASD's site for complaints, and it seems sort of confusing as to which complaints they want and what they don't.

I've dealt with the SEC and their lawyers in the past when I was covering a story for my blog about a giant $50 million ponzi scheme that they shut down only after considerable press coverage. I've made complaints to them before, and had never heard a word back. There have only been two occasions where law enforcement actually contacted me back after I had filed a complaint online. The first story is rather humorous and illustrates Wazoo's point even more.

I'm a moderator on a rather large forum and we have our fair share of spammers and trolls. But, there was a repeat spammer that kept posting the same website, which was a website that purported to sell anabolic steroids. The site was registered with a .US domain, so I knew that they don't allow hidden registry information. So, after getting fed up with the spammer posting the site over and over and having banned the individual many times, I decided to call the person to who the web page was registered. It was a woman on the phone and I informed her that she was running a website that was selling illegal drugs. She denied any knowledge of it and hung up on me. I recorded the conversation and posted it on the forum and everybody had a good laugh about it. I figured the website would surely be down after the owner was discovered running such an illegal operation. I also reported the website to the .US registar and the host of the domain.

I also did a reverse search on the womans phone number and found out that she sat on the chair of a local boyscout troop, which I contacted anonymously to let them know that one of their employees was dealing drugs and I thought the scouts might have an aversion to that.

Still, after that, the spammer came back and was still posting the SAME website again! I was pissed, so I went to the FBI tips site and reported the the persons information along with the fact that they were running a website selling steroids. Within a few minutes of submitting the the form, I got a call from the FBI back telling me that I would need to contact the DEA and have them look into it. To say the least, I was pretty surprised the FBI was actually passing the buck off to me to report the incident to another government agency, while the FBI apparently didn't want to deal with it for whatever reason.

I didn't do anything right away, because I thought maybe the FBI would go ahead and do their job and try to get the site shut down. Yet again, the spammer came back, posting the same site, and it was still up. So, after pouring over the DEA's site trying to find out how to submit a complaint or contact them, I determined they have absolutely no way to report to them online. They only have phone numbers for field offices. So, I called my local DEA field office which informed me that they could take no action on the matter and referred me to call the field office in the location where the address registered to the website was listed. I called the number and was transfered to a somewhat confused sounding woman who didn't quite seem to grasp what I was trying to explain to her. I told her about the website, the address of the person who owned the domain, and a few other relevant facts. She took down the information, thanked me and said she would look into it.

I checked back for weeks later to see if anything happened to the page. For months, it was still up - looking no different than when I originally visited it, and I finally forgot about it and just gave up. I just checked it now, and the site is down, but the domain is still registered to the same person it was originally. Whether law enforcement took any action I have no idea. But, after this entire ordeal I was extremely shocked to see that government agencies were simply ignoring one of the issues they are constantly railing about. The only other possibility I could conceive for them not taking action was that the site was a sting operation to catch people trying to buy the illegal steroids.

The only other time I was contacted back was after I submitted a complaint to the Internet Crime Complaint Center about a bogus investment company I had stuck some money in and they went belly up and disappeared. A few months later, some police from a city in New York where the merchant account they were using to process funds was registered. I told them all I knew about the company and never heard from them again.

Anyway, back to my original question. :) I was really just trying to ascertain if there was an email address where someone could plug into bogus penny stocks and maybe have them marked as fraudulent or have it shut down before a lot of people had been ripped off. Maybe a grassroots effort like PhishTank would be the solution to that problem, where someone could submit a ticker symbol and mark it as potentially problematic, then other websites could aggregate the data and then finance sites like Morningstar or the WSJ could have an alert posted when someone looked up that symbol. Just brainstorming though...

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... Anyway, back to my original question. :) I was really just trying to ascertain if there was an email address where someone could plug into bogus penny stocks and maybe have them marked as fraudulent or have it shut down before a lot of people had been ripped off. Maybe a grassroots effort like PhishTank would be the solution to that problem, where someone could submit a ticker symbol and mark it as potentially problematic, then other websites could aggregate the data and then finance sites like Morningstar or the WSJ could have an alert posted when someone looked up that symbol. Just brainstorming though...

You've seen btech's post just above? If you have reason to ignore his suggestions many would be interested.

On the general topic of badsites not being shut down, I think it was Geffrey Hyde who suggested to me over in the NGs (*one* of the "regulars", anyway) that US practice seems to let these things run on while evidence is amassed - quite different to European practice, for instance. The trouble for the casual observer (or indeed the critic of the Federal authorities) is that it is very difficult to differentiate at any given time between this and inaction/indifference. Combine that with the one constant of law enforcement all over the globe - that they hate to told what their job is or to be questioned by "civilians" - and it is not very reassuring. But not to say that things might not actually be happening. Ah well, I still believed in Santa until the last Pope downgraded him.

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You've seen btech's post just above? If you have reason to ignore his suggestions many would be interested.

Well, my knowledge of how the overall stock market works is fairly limited, and I know even less about how and where they are listed. But, on the NASD site on the page I linked to above, it said the following:

Touts and Other Spams on OTC Bulletin Board and Pink Sheet Stocks

Most touted stocks are infrequently traded, not well known, and can move up or down in price quickly. They are usually quoted on the OTC Bulletin Board (OTCBB) or in the Pink Sheets. The OTCBB and the Pink Sheets are quotation mediums for broker/dealers that contain quotations for thousands of over-the-counter stocks not listed on any of the major stock markets. Neither the OTCBB nor the Pink Sheets require the companies to meet set minimum assets or revenues. Neither the OTCBB nor the Pink Sheets is an issuer listing service or a stock market, and they should not be confused with The Nasdaq Stock Market or with a national securities exchange. To learn more about the differences, go to the OTCBB Web Site. To learn more about the Pink Sheets, go to the Pink Sheets Web Site.

All companies that are quoted on the OTCBB—but not the Pink Sheets—must file financial and other information with the SEC or another regulatory authority. You can check out an OTCBB company’s SEC information on the SEC Web site.

To me that reads that the NASD might not be responsible for pink sheet or OTCBB stocks, and thus, reporting the stock ticker initial to them might not have the intended effect, if they have no control over them. But, I am also not clear on what the role the NASD plays in squelching these types of frauds or what they do overall, just in general. It might be that I am not as well versed in the understanding of financial fraud and how it is dealt with, but I'm not trying to say btech's suggestions are bad or wrong. I just have no experience with those, which is why I started this thread in the first place. :)

As far as the SEC, btech's email seems to be correct. Although, I have never forwarded a spam email to them, so I'm not sure if they prefer to receive the UCE in it's original format, or sent through the SpamCop system. Secondly, if I was filing a complaint with them directly, I wouldn't be sure which option to choose from for the P&D schemes. That may be irrelevant if you're just forwarding the UCEs onto them.

Spams - Forward investment-related spam e-mails to enforcement[at]sec.gov.

Source

they hate to told what their job is or to be questioned by "civilians" - and it is not very reassuring.

Well, in my case, it wasn't so much that I felt like I was telling them what to do, as I was merely attempting to point out a crime to them. Just as if I would dial 911 if I saw a burglary, yet they seemed completely indifferent to the information I was trying to relay to them. With all the news and new laws regarding anabolic steroids, it surprised me that they wouldn't take an active interest in it. Especially, since this was around the same time period as the DEA Operation Gear Grinder had just concluded. It was as if they were just playing blind, deaf and dumb to an ongoing crime.

Edited by Wazoo

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On the general topic of badsites not being shut down, I think it was Geffrey Hyde who suggested to me over in the NGs (*one* of the "regulars", anyway) that US practice seems to let these things run on while evidence is amassed - quite different to European practice, for instance.

Sliding off-topic a bit, but ...

The U.S. thing is based on the tenet of 'innocent until proven guilty.

The attitude I saw during my stays in Germany, Turkey, Italy, Spain, etc. was "if you weren't guilty, you wouldn't have been charged"

While in the Orient, Japan, Korea, Okinanwa, things like a simple auto accident. You were already 50% guilty, because if you hadn't been there, the accident couldn't have happened. The only question dealt with the other 50% of the investigation / assignment of blame ....

As far as the SEC, btech's email seems to be correct. Although, I have never forwarded a spam email to them, so I'm not sure if they prefer to receive the UCE in it's original format, or sent through the SpamCop system.

Legal action - clean, clear, unmunged .... send direct, preferably in-line so as not be hit with the 'no attachments' filters ....

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Legal action - clean, clear, unmunged .... send direct, preferably in-line so as not be hit with the 'no attachments' filters ....

Would you recommend just pasting the source text of the UCE into a new mail (to the SEC) and then send it off? Or would it be appropriate to include any other kind of text, such as labeling what the complaint is about, comments or any thing else pertinent information to the UCE?

On a side note, I just now got another MXXR spam, which I reported, and then forwarded it unmunged to the SEC and NASD. I didn't receive any sort of auto reply, bounce, or anything like that. I'll report back if I hear back from a human on my report.

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/snip

US practice seems to let these things run on while evidence is amassed - quite different to European practice, for instance. The trouble for the casual observer (or indeed the critic of the Federal authorities) is that it is very difficult to differentiate at any given time between this and inaction/indifference. Combine that with the one constant of law enforcement all over the globe - that they hate to told what their job is or to be questioned by "civilians" - and it is not very reassuring. But not to say that things might not actually be happening. Ah well, I still believed in Santa until the last Pope downgraded him.

There may be some other reasons for the apparent lack of action of US sites...in US spammers can sue their pursuer or reporting agency or start a countersuit... The European, particularly British and German are quite prompt at taking action. Here is one I closed with a single report filed yesterday:

http://www.spamcop.net/sc?id=z1134639714zbb2a560e1498aa7727b9adcdaee8e892z

Hi

Thank you for your report concerning this Unsolicited Bulk Email

incident.

The account concerned has been identified and suspended under the terms

of our Acceptable Use Policy, which may be viewed at:

http://www.uk.easynet.net/legal/acceptable.asp

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience that this incident may

have caused.

Kind regards

Anthony Edwards

--

Easynet UK Abuse Team - Easynet Ltd

Edited by dra007

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There are some real difficulties with reporting Pump & Dump Stock Promos to agencies such as NASD, SEC, FTC and FBI.

Fine print somewhere in the email will probably cite antiquated, but still applicable, Securities acts from the countries in which the stocks are registered and/or where their Head Office and/or assets (ha) are supposed to be situated. The stock featured in this thread is 'purportedly' a 'front-end' mining and exploration company in Mexico, I believe. In this same wise; those originating the bulk of the P&D emails appear to be using UK, Italian, Israeli, Moroccan, French and Swedish email addresses ... a sitiuation making discovery and apprehension of the culprits even more nebulous by the introduction of the "freebox ADSL" service which is spreading from France across Europe.

Another stumbling block is that those promoting the stock via email can (claim to) be "disinterested third parties" who could have been retained by anyone; ... not necessarily someone associated with the actual business, it's underwriters or paid agents. Official agencies are reluctant to qualify a listing overtly unless there is evidence a responsible person of the company, it's underwriters, or an agent of either, can be held accountable for artificially manipulating the stock.

There are no regulations against expressing opinions about securities as long as the information contained in the opinion is not deliberately falsified or misleading, and does not disclose what is broadly referred to as "insider information".

The practice of using any electronic device to promote securities outside of conventional channels is frowned upon. Telephone companies will usually pull the plug on boiler-room promos quickly, for example. Many European internet providers will also respond quickly IF enough complaints accumulate; ... although I understand that RIPE has received a lot of flak for not doing anything about this blight. In Canada and the US ... not so much; and pretty much not at all if the source is abroad.

The only practical leverage is to get the P & D operation advertised. JunkFax is a place to consider because they can and do contact business reporters who in turn may disclose the operation(s) to their readers. Unfortuanately, publishers aren't all that interested unless the dollar amounts portend to be significant. Mainstream publishers, editors and writers are reluctant to waste column inches, printer ink, paper & postage, or bandwidth, featuring an item that most of their readers would take as a given, and might convey the impression the writer must think his readers are idiots. Even speculators and day traders playing at Stock Auctions and other Unlisteds know better than to hie unto an email promo.

What it seems to me to resemble is porn-spam; but even more difficult to treat because no web sites are open to retribution. The practice itself isn't illegal except where it constitutes internet abuse or makes fraudulent claims. Consider the hawking of the "Forex" sytem and a couple of other Computer Programs that are guaranteed to make investing a sure thing based on dynamic coloured charts and graphs that supposedly tell you when to buy and sell. Then there is the nonsense about buying property for "No Money Down".... !!! In my opinion, no TV station should be allowed to carry their "info-mercials" but they do and it's legal. My intincts tell me more people are losing their shirts and blouses from those scams than from the P&Ds we're seeing at the moment; eh?

Edited by rooster

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Then there is the nonsense about buying property for "No Money Down".... !!! In my opinion, no TV station should be allowed to carry their "info-mercials" but they do and it's legal. My intincts tell me more people are losing their shirts and blouses from those scams than from the P&Ds we're seeing at the moment; eh?

Too funny .. just got off the phone ... woman called here almost two hours ago, referred by a friend ... topic of discussion was that one of those "Get Rich Quick by selling your stuff on the Internet" wasn't 'working' ..... Of course, I don't expect to get rich off of basically wating my time trying to educate her as to the reality of the world .... at least she sure didn't volunteer to pay me for my time spent on advising how and why she wasted her money, could have done the same stuff on her own, etc. etc. etc.

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Too funny .. just got off the phone ... woman called here almost two hours ago, referred by a friend ... topic of discussion was that one of those "Get Rich Quick by selling your stuff on the Internet" wasn't 'working' etc.

Ah so; no matter how much cautionary information is hammered into people every day, PTB's old saw is just as vital as it was in the 30's: ...there's one shorn every minute; .... or something like that.

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Well, I did get an autoresponse from the SEC after forwarding the UCE to them. Here it is.

Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2006 13:03:07 -0500 [12:03:07 PM CST]

From: ENFORCEMENT <enforcement[at]sec.gov>

Subject: Delivery Notification / Enforcement Complaint Response

*PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE*

Dear Sir or Madam:

Thank you for your recent e-mail to the group electronic mailbox of the

Division of Enforcement at the United States Securities and Exchange

Commission in Washington, D.C. We appreciate your taking the time to

write to us. This automated response confirms that the Division of

Enforcement has received your e-mail. You can rest assured that an

attorney in the Office of Internet Enforcement will review your e-mail

promptly.

We are always interested in hearing from members of the public, and you

may be assured that the matter you have raised is being given careful

consideration in view of the Commission's overall enforcement

responsibilities under the federal securities laws. It is, however, the

Commission's policy to conduct its inquiries on a confidential basis --

so this may be the only response that you receive. If your complaint is

more in the nature of a consumer complaint (such as a dispute with your

broker or a problem with your brokerage or retirement account), you

should contact our Office of Investor Education and Assistance -- they

may be able to help you. You may reach the Office of Investor Education

and Assistance via telephone at (202) 551-6551or through the Web at

HYPERLINK

"http://www.sec.gov/complaint.shtml"www.sec.gov/complaint.shtml

<http://www.sec.gov/complaint.shtml> .

The Commission conducts its investigations on a confidential basis to

preserve the integrity of its investigative process as well as to

protect persons against whom unfounded charges may be made or against

whom the Commission determines that enforcement action is not necessary

or appropriate. Subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information

Act, we cannot disclose to you any information which we may gather and

we cannot confirm to you the existence or non-existence of an

investigation, unless made a matter of public record in proceedings

brought before the Commission or in the courts.

If you are unsure where you should direct your inquiry or you want to

learn more about how the SEC handles inquiries and complaints, please

visit the SEC Complaint Center at HYPERLINK

"http://www.sec.gov/complaint.shtml"www.sec.gov/complaint.shtml

<http://www.sec.gov/complaint.shtml> .

Should you have any additional information or questions pertaining to

this matter, please feel free to communicate directly with us at

HYPERLINK "mailto:enforcement[at]sec.gov"enforcement[at]sec.gov

<mailto:enforcement[at]sec.gov> .

We appreciate your interest in the work of the Commission and its

Division of Enforcement.

Very truly yours,

S/

John Reed Stark

Chief, Office of Internet Enforcement

United States Securities & Exchange Commission

a sitiuation making discovery and apprehension of the culprits even more nebulous by the introduction of the "freebox ADSL" service which is spreading from France across Europe.

Sounds like a pretty cool device, actually. Do they give it away for free, or does it require a subscription fee?

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Sounds like a pretty cool device, actually. Do they give it away for free, or does it require a subscription fee?

$29.95 a month includes phone line rental and all the h&s'ware (Media Boxes by Sigma ... which coincidentally is 'listed' as SIGM) to integrate the internet, telephone, mobile phone, wi-fi, HD television and an entertainment center.

I surmise there could soon be enough Zombies rising from the grave to eat the brains out of the DNS as it pertains to email, making the email experience seem like watching daily re-makes of "The Nite of the Living Dead".. supported by a cast of extras that would make Cecil B's eyes bug out.

With deference to the presiding deity of oxymorons, there already be worms afoot on PROXAD's system. Targetted installations, even the internet itself, are already vulnerable to attack and being shut down by any one from the college of zombie Voodoo cardinals, priests, deacons or apostles who think they have a 'missio canonica' to do so.

Maybe it's just me, but I have a feeling the internet is becoming less secure every day. Same time, if a sufficient number of installations become 'zombified', perhaps ISPs will be forced to make the kind of changes we keep harping about.

Funny thing: usually I hear geese honking along as they head south this time of year; ... but I could swear I just heard a flock of something fly by that was going "oink"!

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Maybe it's just me, but I have a feeling the internet is becoming less secure every day. Same time, if a sufficient number of installations become 'zombified', perhaps ISPs will be forced to make the kind of changes we keep harping about.

Funny thing: usually I hear geese honking along as they head south this time of year; ... but I could swear I just heard a flock of something fly by that was going "oink"!

Carry a stout umbrella - and keep it up at all times outdoors (as the Actress said to the Bishop). Quite some time ago I received a single spam from one of those "wired" French communities (not Parthenay but similar deal, can't remember which it was). I was incensed, probably a zombie and in in the midst of this supposedly super-savvy net-dependent comunity. But I never received another from there. I suspect (because there are such holes in the botnets) it *can* be done and is being done already, on a small scale. Even if just in a village in the country, a village that reveals itself to the mundane world only once in every twenty years ...

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With deference to the presiding deity of oxymorons, there already be worms afoot on PROXAD's system. Targetted installations, even the internet itself, are already vulnerable to attack and being shut down by any one from the college of zombie Voodoo cardinals, priests, deacons or apostles who think they have a 'missio canonica' to do so.

Speaking of which, I seemingly get quite a bit of spam that SC sends off to the address abuse[at]dedibox.fr. I assume this is the provider and "Freebox" you're referring too?

Everytime I report a UCE to them, I always get back an autoresponse in French which I have no clue what it says. Maybe someone else can translate this.

Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2006 03:01:20 +0100 [08:01:20 PM CST]

From: Dedibox Noreply <noreply[at]dedibox.fr> France

Subject: Re: [Ticket#2006111310020734] Changement de status "removed"

This message was written in a character set (iso-8859-15) other than your own.

*** Avis informatif ***

Le status de votre ticket "2006111310020734" à été changé par

"Admin OTRS".

Désormais, le status de votre ticket est : "removed".

Cordialement,

L'assistance technique DEDIBOX

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Everytime I report a UCE to them, I always get back an autoresponse in French which I have no clue what it says. Maybe someone else can translate this.

I read it as that the ticket status was changed to 'removed' ....

Hit Google's translate page, ran it through, seems to say the same thing;

*** Informative Opinion *** The status of your ticket “2006111310020734” at summer changed by “Admin OTRS”. From now on, the status of your ticket is: “removed”.

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SpamCop newsgroup posting by 'Benny' tossed out this link .. for those that want to dig around the site and see what else is available .... this link is a lot of background research on Vinoble, Inc. (OTCBB: VNBL) - Trick or Treat in This Treasure Chest? http://www.stockpatrol.com/article/key/vinoble ... Before you Invest, Investigate™ ...

We offer these thoughts after receiving a series of spam e-mails purporting to profile a tiny company called Vinoble, Inc. (Pink Sheets: VNBL). Of course, as generally is the case with such e-mails, the profile came from an anonymous promoter who placed a decidedly positive, unbalanced spin on Vinoble's prospects.

The e-mails claim that Vinoble is involved in "the Red Hot homeland security sector and the Oil/Energy Industry" a combination of code words that are red meat to investors these days. That succinct description, however, does not accurately or fully describe the current state of the Company's operations. Nor does it convey the dire state of the Company's finances. Vinoble, which has no revenues, had $38 in its bank account at the end of June 2005, and losses of more than $9.3 million in the first six months of 2005.

The front page with 'current events' is enough to boggle one's mind at the obvious reason that there is so much of this spam .... http://www.stockpatrol.com/

Update: Shallbetter Industries, Inc. - Can The spam

11/3/06 Promoters continue to wage a vigorous campaign for Shallbetter Industries, Inc. (Pink Sheets: SBNS). spam e-mails have been circulating at a breathtaking pace - and with obvious results. In recent days, the price of Shallbetter shares has soared from $0.65 to $2.83, and daily trading volume has increased from fewer than 26,000 shares to more than 3.3 million shares. So far, the Company has made no announcements that would seem to justify this surge. When will the spam stop - and who is behind this promotion?

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I started taking the trouble to take a boo at what 'stock' was being promoted in some of these spams... useless information in itself, but I like to poke around like the Bear that went over the mountain.

I seem to be getting 2 different boiler-plate editions. But, both present the payload message as a .gif base 64 image rather than html or plain text. This makes me suspect these images are scanned copies of newsletters that might well originate as FAX copy.

Has anyone seen a FAX incarnation or equivalent of this recent flurry? The SIGMA box includes FAX integration.... so this P & D spam operation could be an evolution of the P & D Fake FAX Newsletters that have been around for ages.

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I seem to be getting 2 different boiler-plate editions. But, both present the payload message as a .gif base 64 image rather than html or plain text. This makes me suspect these images are scanned copies of newsletters that might well originate as FAX copy.

B-64 encoding of a .GIF in an e-mail is pretty much standard operation ... not sure how you make the scanned or FAX connection .... other than the image had to be obtained from somewhere ...

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I started taking the trouble to take a boo at what 'stock' was being promoted in some of these spams... useless information in itself, but I like to poke around like the Bear that went over the mountain.

I seem to be getting 2 different boiler-plate editions. But, both present the payload message as a .gif base 64 image rather than html or plain text. This makes me suspect these images are scanned copies of newsletters that might well originate as FAX copy.

Has anyone seen a FAX incarnation or equivalent of this recent flurry? The SIGMA box includes FAX integration.... so this P & D spam operation could be an evolution of the P & D Fake FAX Newsletters that have been around for ages.

Almost the majority of all the spam I get is in either one of the two forms you mentioned. The first is either a plaintext email that simply states the stock quote ticker symbol, along with it's purported value and why it's a "hot pick". The rest are comprised of a jumble of meaningless words to try and bypass spam filters, along with an attached base64 GIF image that has the same info as the plain text form.

I didn't understand the purpose of most of these emails, since I never viewed the attached image, because I configure all my email viewing to default all images not to be shown unless I explicitly permit it. However, I happened upon one yesterday that made it into my Gmail account, passing through it's spam filters.

When you closely zoom in on the image, you see many tiny multicolored dots and small lines through it, similar to a captcha graphic. It is clearly computer generated and not scanned from a fax.

Email Subject: Re: common Mass Storage

http://img452.imageshack.us/my.php?image=lifelw2.gif

Edited by Farelf

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For those of us savvy investors who leaped at the chance to get in on the WEXE:PK bandwagon before it was too late; bad news. The president just resigned and the stock dropped $0.14 to an even buck. No bid/ask numbers appear either but it has just got to be a steal at that price; eh?

Makes one wonder if the P&D was just a feeble attempt at a "Golden Handshake" for the outgoing tyc. But that would be cynical; I guess.

http://biz.yahoo.com/iw/061113/0183819.html

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...When you closely zoom in on the image, you see many tiny multicolored dots and small lines through it, similar to a captcha graphic. It is clearly computer generated and not scanned from a fax....
There was conjecture in the NGs some weeks ago that this is designed to defeat any OCR software that might be used to scan the attachments as part of any current or future filtering and/or reporting system. I think it was also animated just to make sure those squiggles and dashes and dots can't easily be ignored by such software. Nice to know they're on the ball and thinking ahead, misbegotten progeny of a syphilitic sow and a deceased warthog though they might be.

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Most of the gif image spams of various types I get are 'mint condition' when examined closely in an image editing program such as Paint Shop Pro., so I would guess that is how they are produced - it's very easily done using a standard image editor text tool. Unfortunately it's not quite so easy to decode them back to text using OCR - the resolution of some GIF spams seems to be fairly low, (the Athens Financial Group money laundering scams for instance).

As an aside, I can't find any decent free OCR tools, either. ABBYY is about the best I've found, but it's time limited.

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This site:

http://www.ericdunlap.com/spamtable.html

...is not organized in any way that makes sense to me, but mr. dunlap seems to cover a lot of territory.

I would like to know what it is he uses to determin the source of these spams. All I have found are Open Relays, hijacked PCs, and ISPs who don't give a 'tinker's'.

Considering the breadth of the discernable sources (relays) for this stuff, I surmise whoever is behind the operation(s) must have considerable resources bot-wise. Has anyone else given the Yambo Group (e.g. Yambo Financials) a thought?

I did a 'down & dirty' look at some of the financials of these companies. I don't see a consistent way to leverage all of them as traditional P & D's. What I do see are companies with new directors and chairmen, new capitalizations, one case of missing their June 30 reporting deadline, and all with low share equity ratios.

The one consitency I see is vulnerability to extortion, i.e. "pay us to stop getting your company's name associated with stock fraud/scamming, or we'll keep at it until no one would consider trading in it, and see to it the authorities are investigating you to death. Have a nice day".

Edited by rooster

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