1. Investment Scams: Introduction
  2. Investment Scams: Different Types Of Scams
  3. Investment Scams: Bulletin Boards
  4. Investment Scams: Newsletters
  5. Investment Scams: Dealing With Investment Fraud
  6. Investment Scams: Conclusion


There are literally hundreds of investment boards where anyone can rant, rave, or post BS. Online bulletin boards (BBs) come in various forms, including newsgroups, usenet, or web-based boards. Some of the larger BBs, like those found on sites such as Raging Bull, Boards on Yahoo! Finance, and Silicon Investor, see thousands of messages posted on an hourly basis.

While there are many valid and useful posts on these boards, a large number of tips turn out to be bogus. Fraudsters most often use a pump and dump scheme on BBs by pretending to reveal inside information about big upcoming announcements, great new products, or lucrative contracts. The opposite can be done too. If fraudsters hold a short position in a company, they will try to spread negative rumors in the hope that investors will panic and push prices down.

Here's the tricky part about BBs: anonymity. You don't know for sure who you're dealing with and how credible they are. People claiming to be unbiased observers who've carefully researched a company may actually be company insiders, large shareholders, or paid promoters. A single person can easily create the illusion of widespread interest in a small, thinly-traded stock by posting a series of messages under various aliases.

In the aftermath of the dotcom bubble, bulletin boards experienced a dramatic drop in traffic. Thankfully, many investors realized they couldn't believe everything they read online. But that's not to say there is no valuable information on BBs. Before Enron went bankrupt, posts were made online that revealed many of the fraudulent practices taking place at the energy giant. Regrettably, at the same time, there were countless posts that were bullish on Enron. It's nearly impossible to sort out the valuable posts from the fake ones.


Investment Scams: Newsletters
Related Articles
  1. Insights

    Needle In A Haystack: Investing Message Boards

    Message boards provide a great opportunity to read insightful information and opinions, but watch out for "trolls".
  2. Investing

    Evaluating The Board Of Directors

    Corporate structure can tell you a lot about a company's potential. Learn more here.
  3. Managing Wealth

    How To Become A Corporate Board Member

    We look at how corporate boards are constructed, and how investors can get involved.
  4. Insights

    The Currency Board: Understanding The Government's Bank

    Currency board, central bank - what's the difference? Find out more about this little-known monetary authority.
  5. Financial Advisor

    Fund Boards: What They Do and Why You Should Care

    Fund boards oversee management and operations of the fund on behalf of shareholders. Make sure you've got a board that will look out for you.
  6. Investing

    Advisory Board and Elliott Management Reach a Standstill

    Advisory Board has reached a standstill agreement with activist investors Elliott Management.
  7. Insights

    Tesla Adds Two Independent Board Members After Criticism

    Tesla responds to criticism that its board is too insular by bringing in two media CEOs.
  8. Investing

    How To Identify A Micro-Cap Scam

    Discover how to distinguish a real investment opportunity from a fraudulent one.
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. How did the ABX index behave during the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis?

    Read about the disastrous performance of the various ABX indexes in the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008 during the middle ...
  2. How did moral hazard contribute to the 2008 financial crisis?

    Learn about moral hazard, how it can affect outcomes and how it contributed to the conditions that led to the 2008 financial ...
  3. Which mutual funds made money in 2008?

    Read about the only mutual fund that turned a profit in 2008. Learn about risk-averse investment strategies and the financial ...
  4. Were Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDO) Responsible for the 2008 Financial Crisis?

    Collateralized debt obligations are exotic financial instruments that can be difficult to understand, Learn the role they ...
Trading Center