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Friday 20 June 2014

RNBI pump-and-dump spam: "Are you a go getter?"

This pump-and-dump spam is promoting a US stock Rainbow International Corp (RNBI) with false information designed to pump up the share price while someone dumps stock:

From: RealInvestments Daily Tip
Subject: Are you a go getter?

Hi [redacted],

Hope all is well with you and the family. I know you reached out to me last month looking for a good investment amid this crazy market. I must tell you it has been very hard to find something solid. Theres very few hidden gems out there and I honestly didnt even think I would be able to find something. That being said the best Ive been able to find is RNBI and when I say best, it really seems to be a god send. I told a few of my other clients about it last month as it seemed pretty cheap and it has gone up by more than 50% since. Im giving you a heads up on RNBI because I spoke with a few of my colleagues and they agree that it will hit a dollar some time in the coming weeks. Dont tell anyone you hear this from me please we're suppose to keep it on the down low. The company operates in the legalhemp industry, apparently the sector has been going nuts since colorado and washington made the stuff legal and apparently RNBI is going to announce some big news soon. Not sure what it is but my source is usually pretty spot on.

Take care and let me know if you need anything else. Ill keep you posted if I have some more news.

(c) 2014. StockTips. All rights reserved.

7080 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90038
At the moment there is only one subject and body text, but this will no doubt change as the spam evolves. A quick analysis of RNBI shows a company with no significant assets or income and no news or press releases indicating anything going on. The stock was aggressively pumped last month, but this latest round is using illegal spamming to try to promote the stock.

There are some anomalies with this stock. Despite having virtually no income or assets, the market capitalisation is still $52m which seems a lot. The stock chart shows that the price collapsed from a high of $0.59 late last year to $0.06 and then $0.09 before aggressive pumping took it up to about $0.20 or so, shifting around 34 million shares (or about $7m worth of stock). Before the pumping, the daily trade level was basically zero.

In my personal opinion, it is likely that this action is being taken by a major stockholder wanting to dump their shares for whatever reason. Remember that most stocks promoted by pump-and-dump spam collapse afterwards, so it is a good idea to give RNBI a very wide berth.

UPDATE 1. there is now a second wave of spam pretending to be from InvestorsHub which contains some junk text and an image with an MD5 of 0D179335984C7286F170C8354B69D4BF:

From:     InvestorsHub
Date:     20 June 2014 16:34
Subject:     Daily Stocks Tips

UPDATE 2. A third wave of image-based spam is on the way with a different embedded image.

From:     InvestorsHub News
Date:     20 June 2014 19:19
Subject:     This stock will go nuts today

UPDATE 3. Yet another image-based spam pumping RNBI is in circulation.
From:     Investors Hub Newsdesk
Date:     21 June 2014 07:11
Subject:     IHUB Newsdesk - This is the next big stock play

UPDATE 4. Two more versions of the pump-and-dump spam. The first version is surprisingly aggressive:

From:     Scottrade
Date:     21 June 2014 19:58
Subject:     Invest today. Cash Out next month

Dear conrad,

I was very furious when I listened to your voicemail last night.

You know, I did tell you about R N B I last month but you’re the one who was not interested in buying at the time. It was trading for just 10 or 15 cents if I remember correctly. You cannot now blame me by saying I didn’t tell you.

Anyway bullshit aside if you are still angry about missing the first wave I’m telling you its not too late but you need to listen to me now and buy as many s.h.a.r.es of R N B I as you can on Monday morning before they get too expensive and if you don’t it’s your own fault I don’t want you calling me again and leaving me another nasty voicemail.

I spoke with my analyst buddy who is working on this specific stock-analysis and he told me we should expect to see shares hit past a dollar within the next 30 days. Do what you must.

Take care
Your bud
Second version:

From:     TD Ameritrade
Date:     22 June 2014 17:21
Subject:     Another Big Report this Monday at the open!

Open your account today in just minutes  |  View online
You’ve already taken the first step toward your financial goals by starting your application for a TD Ameritrade account. Take the next step and start trade today.

It’s quick and easy. And as a client, you’ll have access to the tools and resources you need to trade and invest with more confidence, including our top stocks picks:

UPDATE 5. Now the spammers are pretending to be from Bloomberg:

From:     Bloomberg.com
Date:     23 June 2014 10:07
Subject:     Financial News: Our New Stock Alert!
Thank you,
The Bloomberg.com Team


Please do not reply to this message; it was sent from an unmonitored email address. If you received this message in error, please contact us.


Update Your Profile | Manage Preferences
Bloomberg.com | 731 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022

UPDATE 6.  This new version of the spam comes with a .VCF attachment which will install a contact into your address book:

From:     Money Runners
Date:     23 June 2014 15:59
Subject:     The Money Runners Group: More Gains This Week - Stay Tuned!

Hi [redacted], my name is Denise Stewart and i'm your new stocks adviser.

Check my vCard in attachement
Attached is a file name2.vcf which contains the following data:
FN:Denise Stewart
N:Denise Stewart;;;;
ADR:;;0659 LEE Tim Road;Denver;CO;80304;USA
ORG:Rainbow International, Corp. (RNBI)
NOTE:By the entrance ways at each end of the coach was a toilet.
A file like this is a contact card and webmail applications such as Gmail or email clients such as Outlook can add it as a contact.

The idea is that you'll wonder who the heck this person is and click through on the link to Yahoo! Finance, which shows the bump in stock prices due to the pump-and-dump run.

Ummm... well, it's an interesting approach but if people are daft enough to fall for this sort of spam then it might be a bit too subtle for them.

UPDATE 7. Two new variants. The first one combines some of the elements seen earlier:

From:     Tonia Maynard
Date:     23 June 2014 18:39
Subject:     We've Just Come Across Something Huge!

Hi [redacted]

The next one has new elements in it:

From:     MarketClub Daily Top Stocks
Date:     23 June 2014 16:59
Subject:     Today's Top Trending Stocks

Top Trending Stocks for Monday, June 23rd

The stocks below have been rated as today's top stocks by MarketClub's Trade Triangle and Smart Scan technology.

#    Symbol    Description    Open    High    Low    Last    Change    %    Vol    Score
1.    RNBI     Rainbow International, Corp.     0.16    0.25    0.21    0.22    +52.185    +50.32%    1,203,226     +100
 View Full List ...

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Learn how MarketClub can advance your trading with an entire set of online trading tools, not just the ability to create lists like this. Try MarketClub for only $8.95 for 30 days.

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UPDATE 9. After a brief pause, there's another format of spam. (Incidentally the pause in spam caused the stock price to drop 22%!)

From:     USMarketAdvisor
Date:     24 June 2014 21:53
Subject:     If you get in now you could triple fast

Dear member,

We've been trying to bring something with substance to you for some time now and we've finally found it. R.N.B.I is a stock that will make your portfolio shine again and give us the reputation as strong analysts. It is currently trading for 20 cents. If you can buy some shares at the current pricing you will be in for a hell of a ride as we are predicting that we will see R,N,B,I go to a dollar by mid july. This company is a very special one as it operates in the legal marijuana sector in Colorado. As you've probably heard, that sector is totally on fire at the moment and you would be a fool to think that marijuana is not getting legalized nationwide in the coming short while. Can you imagine what this will do to the price of R_N_B_I? The company is already having a hard time supplying enough cannabis to its customers as it is with just Colorado and Washington allowing legal sales. Imagine when the whole country begins asking for some. At 20 cents R-N-B-I is an absolute steal and I would load up as much as I can.

Your premium analyst,
This email was sent to [redacted]. To ensure that you continue receiving our emails,
please add us to your address book or safe list.
(c) 2014 USMarketAdvisor.
550 Bowie Street, Austin, Texas 78703-4644
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for all USMarketAdvisor emails.

UPDATE 10. Another spam this time, with the sender set to "FoxNews.com".

From:     FoxNews.com
Date:     25 June 2014 10:33
Subject:     BREAKING NEWS: Huge Winner Today! New Alert Inside

Once in a while there comes an opportunity that is too good to pass.
This time has come again. R*N*B*I is a diamond in the rough and this undervalued company is about to make us all very wealthy.
Our peers will look up to us and say "wow he's smart".
That's because if we can buy R*N*B*I for about 20 cents today we will likely get 5x our investment as analysts are predicting it will reach a dollar in the coming weeks.
TThere's also a bit of history behind this.
Just a few weeks ago the company was at 35 cents!
It has taken one step back and is getting ready to make 5 steps forward and we are lucky to be able to buy shares for as cheap as 20 cents right now.
It's not every day that a legal cannabis company can be bought for so cheap.

If we look at the historical chart and analysts' recommendations this looks like the perfect buy right now and I would get as many shares as I can at the current prices.

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UPDATE 11. A variation of the previous spam, this time purporting to be from "MovingPennies".

From:     MovingPennies
Date:     25 June 2014 14:15
Subject:     BREAKING NEWS: All Eyes On (R N B I)

There's been a lot of speculation about where the market is going.

Truth be told no one really knows but it seems like we can expect to see things continue going up a bit.
That being said more companies these days are really overpriced.
Would you get in google at the current share price? Or apple? Or coca cola? they all seem to expensive at the moment.
Instead I've been searching for an answer... R*N-B*I is a stock that is currently very undervalued and its 2-month chart tells a story.
Just weeks ago it was at 35 cents. Now we can pick it up for right around 20 cents and analysts are expecting it to reach a dollar in the coming weeks.
If that's not a good deal I don't know what is. The company operates in the legal cannabis industry.
They're set up in Colorado and there is a lot of action happening there right now as you know.
Colorado and Washington both legalized cannabis recently and the amount of money being made in the industry right this moment is mind boggling.

If I were you I'd buy as many shares of R-N*B-I as possible at these cheap prices.

UPDATE 12. The spam has evolved again, now pretending to be from MomentumOTC:

From:     MomentumOTC
Date:     26 June 2014 09:37
Subject:     This company will make us big bucks

In recent days R^N^B^I has become very cheap to invest in.
Shares are now trading for right around 15 cents and it looks like it is about to soar again.
Two weeks ago it was trading as high as 35 cents, so you can imagine how much of a bargain it is at the current levels.
For a company that operates in the legal canabis industry we are very lucky to get shares at 15 cents.

Analysts are recommending to buy-it-now.

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UPDATE 13. A new version of the spam is in progress (which still can't spell "cannabis"), this time pretending to be from "BestOTC Network, LLC":
From:     BestOTC
Date:     26 June 2014 14:12
Subject:     The top legal canabis company is here

Everyone is jumping on shares of R:N:B:I at 15cents right now.
They have never been so cheap in the past. Imagine if you wanted to grab it two weeks ago it would've cost you 35 cents.
Analysts are saying that the company is about to soar again and that they recommend buying as much as possible in the 15 to 20cent range.
R:N:B:I is one of the few companies on the market that is involved in the legal canabis sector.

Grab shares now!

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UPDATE 14. Despite all this activity, the stock price is tanking hitting a low of $0.10 which is about half what they were going for when the spam started. That's still about ten cents more than this company is worth in my opinion. This new spam pretends to be from "ClayTrader".

From:     ClayTrader
Date:     26 June 2014 19:12
Subject:     Watch this one double quickly

First target: $.19
Second Target $.25
Stop $.50

Sell on the way up at your target prices

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Majestic12 said...

Thank you Conrad. I received this E-Mail this morning, containing the exact same information and "personal" wording. I obviously thought it was some sort of scam, but needed someone to clarify this for me. Thanks again!

Matthias said...

They keep coming in. I've got a catch-all domain and so far there have been 35 mails. It's interesting to see that this spam apparently works; are there really so many gullible people?

Conrad Longmore said...

@Thomas - it really is a very aggressive spam run, clogging up two catch-all domains I hae.

@Matthias - sadly it does seem that the harder they spam, the more idiots buy the stock. They also change the message.. as soon at the P&D stock nudges the price up, they'll broadcast that around everywhere to try and bolster their claims.

debrucer said...

The SPAM has evolved with subject marked RE:... claiming that I left them a voice message pissed off over not having taken their advice last month... RBNI was visible, and a quick Google search got me your page with posts today and yesterday. Apparently spamming does work :)

roadshowrigoletto said...

Started receiving these spams. To one of my biz email accounts and thus they address me as if my name is the address. So they don't know me at all. Several conform to the "pissed off" model (ScotTrade). Another addresses me as if I had started a brokerage account with TD AmeriTrade. Is this supposed to work? I forgot I had reamed a broker? Fogot that I started a brokerage account recently?

UK Investor said...

What is the SEC doing (or not doing) about this scam? According to Mark this guy Donald Corn bough 70% of the company for $25,000 but the company has a market cap of $64 million. Why has he not had to buy all of the outstanding shares since he bought 70%?
It is perfectly clear that once the current holders are out it will go to zero.
The US authorities should be ashamed, it undermines your whole market.

UK Investor said...

What is the SEC doing (or not doing) about this scam? According to Mark this guy Donald Corn bough 70% of the company for $25,000 but the company has a market cap of $64 million. Why has he not had to buy all of the outstanding shares since he bought 70%?
It is perfectly clear that once the current holders are out it will go to zero.
The US authorities should be ashamed, it undermines your whole market.

Unknown said...

I've gotten two of these, the one berating me for not buying RNBI and the Ameritrade one. Very unsettling. Found myself checking my online banking for anomalies. I had suspected it was a spoof/spam. Thanks for posting these, nice to have confirmation.

DMcCunney said...

@Matthias: It's interesting to see that this spam apparently works; are there really so many gullible people?

No, but it doesn't take all that many. The nice thing about email campaigns for spammers is that it costs essentially nothing, so if you send a million emails and hook ten suckers, it's a win.

It doesn't take a lot of action in penny stocks to goose the stock price, and purchases of the stock are revenue in the pockets of those offering it. The company may have no visible assets or revenues, or any products or services actually sold, but the purchaser will neither know nor care. Their only concern will be "If I buy, will the value of the stock increase to the point where I can sell later for a tidy profit?", and if the price of the stock rises, they'll think so and buy. The fun will come when they try to sell for that tidy profit, and discover they bought a pig in a poke.

The scammers, meanwhile, will be nowhere to be found.

I used to get penny stock pump-and-dump spam a lot. I haven't for a while, and this is the first new one that has hit my spam trap in months. (For whatever reason, I get a boatload of Indian real estate development offers.)

The giggle here is that RNBI is claimed to be in the medical marijuana field. That just got legalized in New York State, where I live, fueled by visions of tax dollars dancing through the minds cash strapped local governments. I expect there will be genuine opportunities for investment in medical marijuana, but I don't expect anything worth investing in to be a penny stock.

roadshowrigoletto said...

Momentum OTC iteration received. Touts the drop in the share price as an opportunity? A bargain? So someone will have to see the loss of 40% as an opportunity?

roadshowrigoletto said...

I do love that the SEC no longer has an email address to which to report these. Less regulation is a grand thing, now isn't it?

Conrad Longmore said...

They don't make it easy to find, but you can report fraud to the SEC here.

roadshowrigoletto said...

Thanks for that. New spam: BestOTC. Still with the implication that somehow a stock that has lost more than 50 percent of its value will double.

roadshowrigoletto said...

Oh, and with this one the email domain doesn't match BestOTC. Am I the only person who first looks to something like that when looking for spam? I've received "IRS" emails from Yahoo domains. And Yahoo phishes from AOL domains.

roadshowrigoletto said...

RNBI is back.StockRockandRoll.org this time. Three cents for a share now?