Softscan recently uncovered a new twist to the “pump and dump” scam emails that promote stocks and shares. Scammers are employing a technique that became infamous in the late 1950s: subliminal messaging.
Used then by the film industry in an attempt to cleverly conceal advertising, subliminal messaging is now being incorporated into emails.
The “Pump and Dump” moniker refers to the strategy of the email senders. Recipients are encouraged to buy a particular stock or share because of fantastic, breaking ‘news.’ When enough stock has been bought, the email senders sell their own and make a profit, while the scammed are left with possibly worthless shares.
Although they’ve been around for years, these scams have grown considerably in recent months. According to SoftScan, the emails now show periodic, split-second images that contain the word “buy.” The images flash several times with the goal of infiltrating the thoughts of the recipient.
While reports indicate that the subliminal messaging is being used mainly for American stocks, it is likely to spread worldwide. Users beware.
As for the scammers, they ought to know that this technique didn’t last long in the 1950s. It was banned then, and probably will be again soon.