New Spam Campaign Aims To Create Pump-and-dump Scenario For Publicly Traded Stocks

Spam email campaigns are nothing new, as unsolicited emails have been around for quite some time now. However, it would appear the number of spam campaigns has decreased since December of 2017. Unfortunately, that was only a temporary reprieve, as a few new campaigns have launched in recent weeks. None of these spam attacks intend to distribute malware, though.

A New Purpose For Spam Email Campaigns?

Cyber criminals have used spam email campaigns to distribute malware and ransomware for quite some time now. In most cases, these emails contain a malicious attachment such as a Word file or a PDF. Once the user opens this attachment, the malware payload is downloaded onto the computer and the infection process begins. That being said, a lot of cyber crime gangs took a break from using spam attacks these past few months, which left security researchers puzzled.

Fast forward to yesterday and it appears the number of spam emails is picking up once again. Unlike what most people would assume, these spam campaigns are not actively distributing malware and ransomware this time. In fact, it appears these emails are sent out to trick recipients into buying shares from a specific company. A rather unusual approach,  yet it may prove to be successful.

These specific emails advise users to buy stocks which are expected to gain 10 times their current value by next week. In the email message we looked at, a mention is made of a company called Incapta INC, which is expected to be a “hot investment”. According to the email, the person sending these messages has a contact in New York who mentioned how Incapta Inc is on the brink of being sold to a multinational. If such a deal were to materialize, the company’s stock price is expected to explode in the next few days.

What makes this ordeal so intriguing is how Incapta Inc is a company generating a lot of mainstream media buzz right now. Their stock is also publicly traded, and its value has seen a significant increase, according to recent articles. It is unclear if this value increase stems forth from this spam campaign persuading users to buy shares, though. A 23.33% increase in share value has been recorded over the past 24 hours, indicating it is a solid investment after all

While it seems plausible to assume some people will fall for this email and buy stocks, it remains doubtful such a spam campaign will be successful in the long run. Moreover, it appears the person – or people – responsible for sending out these emails are looking to create a “pump and dump” scenario involving the Incapta Inc stock. It is possible some large stockholders are looking to liquidate their assets at the highest price possible, although that is only speculation at this point.

This spam campaign raises a lot of questions that remain unanswered. It is unclear why this specific stock is mentioned as part of the message. Moreover, if someone who owns the Incapta Inc stock is involved in this spam campaign, it seems to be a desperate attempt to get unsuspecting investors to buy shares. Anyone who received this email should just ignore it, as it is clear someone is looking to push up the stock price before creating a massive sell-off.

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