Be on the lookout for investment scams that arrive in your inbox.
Who Is It Targeting: Stock market investors
What Is It: A “pump and dump” investment scam that drives the price of stocks up before crashing them.
What Are They After: When we think of email scams, we tend to envision shady tech users who write poorly worded messages intended to cheat you out of your money. But that’s hardly the only avenue for a thief to steal from you online. A recent warning about “pump and dump” investment scams highlights just how savvy the criminals can be.
The email informs you about a rare opportunity to make a fortune in the stock market. You’re offered shares of an up-and-coming company at pennies on the dollar. As the stock price continues to rise, so does your return. Unfortunately, the scammer knows he’s going to sell all of his stock before the bottom falls out, leaving you and the other investors with nothing.
How Can You Avoid It:
- Be very cautious when it comes to “act now” opportunities, especially in the stock market.
- If the email makes bold claims about how the stock is going to take off, it’s probably a scam.
- Do your homework before getting involved in any kind of investment.
If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530.