The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have issued an alert to warn investors of fraudulent penny stock scams touting what may essentially be stocks of dormant shell companies which have little to no business operations or non-cash assets and pose the threat of substantial financial losses for those who invest in them.
The SEC’s alert notes that fraudsters use dormant shell companies in what are known as pump-and-dump schemes. These schemes involve the buying of shares in the shell company, claiming the company to be a great investment opportunity, even hyping up the company with aggressive marketing and the announcing of new management or re-incorporation, possibly under a new name. All of these tactics are meant to “pump” the company stock back to life, thereby creating more trading and getting the stock prices to shoot up. Continue reading →