You Too ... good to be true? Pump-and-dumpers join the YouTube generation

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If you take a look at financial history, you will notice that stock scams have always been around. What's more, scammers have demonstrated an innate ability to adapt to new mediums, such as mail, phones and the Internet.

Now, scammers are moving into new terrain: online video.

Internet security leader Symantec has been following this incipient trend. In fact, some of the scammers are using high-quality productions that even look like professional commercials. You can check some of them out at the Symantec security blog.

Lessons here?

  • Beware of hyped up language -- such as "guaranteed," "huge returns" and so on.
  • Many of these scams are on quotations services like the Bulletin Board (called the OTCBB) or the Pink Sheets.
  • The scammers like to focus on hot areas (such as energy, gold, solar, and so on).
  • Finally, if you get a tip via email, it's probably a good bet that it's spam and likely a scam.

Tom Taulli is the author of various books, including The Complete M&A Handbook and The Edgar Online Guide to Decoding Financial Statements. He also operates DealProfiles.com.

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