Pump and dump

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The "night singer of shares" sold stock on the streets during the South Sea Bubble. Amsterdam, 1720.

"Pump and dump" (P&D) es una forma de capitalizar acciones fraudulentas, que involucra la inflación en el precio de una acción comprada barata, mediante la manipulación o falsificación de información, para venderla a un precio más alto. Una vez que el dirigente del esquema "tira o vende" sus sobreevaluadas acciones, el precio cae y los inversores pierden su dinero. Las acciones que son victimas de este esquema, son conocidas como:"chop stocks".[1]

Mientras los fraudes del pasado se basaban en las llamadas, ahora el Internet ofrece una forma más fácil y barata de alcanzar grandes cantidades de inversionistas.[1]

Escenarios del Pump and dump[editar]

Los esquemas del pump and dump pueden tomar lugar en el internet en forma de una campaña en los e-mails "spam", a través de los canales de media en un noticiero falso, o mediante "telemarketing" de parte de una casa de bolsa (por ejemplo, refierasé a: Boiler Room).[2] Normalmente el corredor de bolsa dirá tener "información confidencial" sobre noticias inminentes. Los boletines informativos podrán pretender ofrecer recomendaciones imparciales, luego ofrecer una compañia con acciones "hot" ó "convenientes" para beneficio del inversionista. [[los promotores o vendedores de estas acciones también suelen subir mensajes en salas de chat o mensajes de acciones de las casa de bolsa como: ADVFN, incentivando a los que reciben este mensaje a comprar casi de manera inmediata.,[1]

Si el promotor logra el "pump" de las acciones, esto tentara involutariamente al inversionista a comprarla. El incremento de la demanda, precio, y cantidad en el mercado motivará a otros a comprar más acciones. Cuando el promotor vende y deja de promover las acciones, el precio se desploma, y los otros inversionistas se quedan con éstas a un precio insignificante, ni cerca de lo que pagaron para obtenerlas.

Los impostores normalmente usan esta táctica con pequeñas casas de bolsa o empresas cotizadoras que trabajan sobre un mercado conocido como "penny stock". Se utilizan estas empresas debido a que es más fácil manipular, esconder y falsificar la información sobre las acciones.

Una forma más moderna de este fraude es conocida "hack". Aquí una persona compra acciones fraudulentas y luego con la ayuda de una firma de corredores de bolsa compra estas acciones en grandes cantidades. El resultado es un incremento en el precio que es impulsado día a día por corredores de bolsa; así el dueño de las acciones las logra vender a un precio premium.[3]

Specific examples[editar]

Stratton Oakmont[editar]

See Stratton Oakmont article.

Jonathan Lebed[editar]

During the dot-com era, when stock-market fever was at its height and many people spent significant amounts of time on stock Internet message boards, a 15-year-old named Jonathan Lebed showed how easy it was to use the Internet to run a successful pump and dump. Lebed bought penny stocks and then promoted them on message boards, pointing at the price increase. When other investors bought the stock, Lebed sold his for a profit, leaving the other investors holding the bag. He came to the attention of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which filed a civil suit against him alleging security manipulation. Lebed settled the charges by paying a fraction of his total gains. He neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing, but promised not to manipulate securities in the future.[4]


As late as April 2001, before the company's collapse, Enron executives participated in an elaborate scheme of pump and dump,[5] in addition to other illegal practices that fooled even the most experienced analysts on Wall Street. Studies of the anonymous messages posted on the Yahoo board dedicated to Enron revealed predictive messages that the company was basically a house of cards, and that investors should bail out while the stock was good.[6] After Enron falsely reported profits which inflated the stock price, they covered the real numbers by using questionable accounting practices. 29 Enron executives sold overvalued stock for more than a billion dollars before the company went bankrupt.[7]

Park Financial Group[editar]

In April 2007, the U.S. SEC brought charges against Park Financial Group as a result of an investigation into a pump and dump scheme during 2002-2003 of the Pink Sheet listed stock of Spear & Jackson Inc.[8]

Langbar International[editar]

Started as Crown Corporation, Langbar was the biggest pump and dump fraud on the Alternative Investment Market, part of the London Stock Exchange. The company was at one point valued greater than $1 billion, based on supposed bank deposits in Brazil which did not exist. None of the chief conspirators were convicted, although their whereabouts are known. A Patsy who made a negligent false statement about the assets was convicted and banned from being a director. The investors who lost as much as £100 million sued one of the fraudsters and recovered £30 million.

Pump and dump spam[editar]

Pump and dump stock scams are prevalent in spam, accounting for about 15% of spam e-mail messages. A survey of 75,000 unsolicited emails sent between January 2004 and July 2005 concluded that spammers could make an average return of 4.29% by using this method, while recipients who act on the spam message typically lose close to 5.5% of their investment within two days.[9] A study by Böhme and Holz[10] shows a similar effect. Stocks targeted by spam are almost always penny stocks, selling for less than $5 per share, not traded on major exchanges, are thinly traded, and are difficult or impossible to sell short. Spammers acquire stock before sending the messages, and sell the day the message is sent.[11]

Pump and dump differs from many other forms of spam (such as advance fee fraud emails and lottery scam messages) in that it does not require the recipient to contact the spammer to collect supposed "winnings," or to transfer money from supposed bank accounts. This makes tracking the source of pump and dump spam difficult, and has also given rise to "minimalist" spam consisting of a small untraceable image file containing a picture of a stock symbol.[cita requerida]

Short and distort[editar]

A variant of the pump and dump scam, the "short and distort" works in the opposite manner. Instead of first buying the stock, and then artificially raising its price before selling, in a "short and distort" the scammer first short-sells the stock, and then artificially lowers the price, using the same techniques as the pump and dump but using criticism or negative predictions regarding the stock. The scammer then covers his short position when he buys back the stock at a lower price.[12]


One method of regulating and restricting pump and dump manipulators is to target the category of stocks most often associated with this scheme. To that end, penny stocks have been the target of heightened enforcement efforts. In the United States, regulators have defined a penny stock as a security that must meet a number of specific standards. The criteria include price, market capitalization, and minimum shareholder equity. Securities traded on a national stock exchange, regardless of price, are exempt from regulatory designation as a penny stock,[13] since it is thought that exchange traded securities are less vulnerable to manipulation.[14] Therefore, Citigroup (NYSE:C) and other NYSE listed securities which traded below $1.00 during the market downturn of 2008–2009, while properly regarded as "low priced" securities, were not technically "penny stocks". Although penny stock trading in the United States is now primarily controlled through rules and regulations enforced by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the genesis of this control is found in State securities law. The State of Georgia was the first state to codify a comprehensive penny stock securities law.[15] Secretary of State Max Cleland, whose office enforced State securities laws[16] was a principal proponent of the legislation. Representative Chesley V. Morton, the only stockbroker in the Georgia General Assembly at the time, was principal sponsor of the bill in the House of Representatives. Georgia's penny stock law was subsequently challenged in court. However, the law was eventually upheld in U.S. District Court,[17] and the statute became the template for laws enacted in other states. Shortly thereafter, both FINRA and the SEC enacted comprehensive revisions of their penny stock regulations. These regulations proved effective in either closing or greatly restricting broker/dealers, such as Blinder, Robinson & Company, which specialized in the penny stocks sector. Meyer Blinder was jailed for securities fraud in 1992, after the collapse of his firm.[18] However, sanctions under these specific regulations lack an effective means to address pump and dump schemes perpetrated by unregistered groups and individuals.


  1. a b c «Pump and Dump Schemes». U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. March 12, 2001. 
  2. NBC News staff and news wires (2012-10-24). «The $400 million buyout hoax that fooled many - Business on». Nbcnews.com. Consultado el 2012-12-18. 
  3. Krinklebine, Karlos (2009). Hacking Wall Street: Attacks and Countermeasures. US: Darkwave Press. pp. 83–180. ISBN 1-4414-6363-1. 
  4. Lewis, Michael (February 25, 2001). «Jonathan Lebed: Stock Manipulator, S.E.C. Nemesis -- and 15». New York Times. 
  5. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (DVD). Magnolia Pictures. January 17, 2006. Escena en 32:58. 
  6. Morgenson, Gretchen (2002-04-28). «The Bears on This Message Board Had Enron Pegged». The New York Times. Consultado el 2010-04-25. 
  7. Dan Chambers."Enron the Symptom, Not the Disease." publici.ucimc.org. Retrieved on 2010-04-25.
  8. Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2007, pg. C2
  9. Frieder, Laura and Zittrain, Jonathan (March 14, 2007). Spam Works: Evidence from Stock Touts and Corresponding Market Activity. Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2006-11. SSRN 920553.  Results of this study are also discussed in this article:
  10. The Effect of Stock Spam on Financial Markets, 2006
  11. (Hanke and Hauser, 2006)
  12. Glasner, Joanna (2002-06-03). «New Market Trend: Short, Distort». Wired (Condé Nast Digital). Archivado desde el original el February 11, 2010. Consultado el February 11, 2010. 
  13. http://www.sec.gov/rules/final/34-51983.pdf
  14. «SEC Charges Eight Participants in Penny Stock Manipulation Ring». U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. May 21, 2009. 
  15. Stan Darden (March 20, 1990). «Georgia to OK Tough Law for Penny Stocks». Los Angeles Times. UPI. 
  16. «Georgia Secretary of State | Securities». Sos.ga.gov. Consultado el 2012-12-18. 
  17. «GEORGIA LAW WON'T HURT BROKERS, JUDGE RULES». Deseret News. July 11, 1990. 
  18. Diana B. Henriques (February 16, 2003). «Penny-Stock Fraud, From Both Sides Now». New York Times. 

Further reading[editar]

  • Krinklebine, Karlos (2009). Hacking Wall Street: Attacks and Countermeasures. US: Darkwave Press. p. 402. ISBN 978-1-4414-6363-0. 
  • Tillman, Robert H.; Indergaard, Michael L. (2005). Pump and Dump: The Rancid Rules of the New Economy. ISBN 0-8135-3680-4. 
  • Sergey Perminov, Trendocracy and Stock Market Manipulations (2008, ISBN 978-1-4357-5244-3).

External links[editar]

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