Stock-Pumping Spam via an ESP :(

Stock-promotion web site, which reportedly has existed under many other names in the past, is sending bulk email to an email address that has never existed. The ESP is IContact.

Except for the fact that it was sent from a valid ESP account, this spam closely matches the characteristics of stock pumping spam, which is also called pump’n’dump spam. This type of spam is sent to advertise a stock with the aim of driving up the price, so that the stock pumper can then sell his own shares at a higher price. This type of activity is illegal in the United States, and I believe in a number of other countries.

I can’t be certain that this email is true pump’n’dump spam, but the spam itself and the characteristics of the domain both look very much like that is the case. Specifically, like most criminal pump’n’dump spam, there is no advertised URI, email address, or other contact information in the email. The spam sample below shows the complete text of the spam to illustrate this. When you think about it, this makes sense, because what a stock pumping spammer wants is for the spam victim to buy stock on the exchange where it is listed, not directly from him. So he does not need to provide contact information. There is no pretense of opt-in, also sensible because a spammer who is not afraid of the SEC isn’t going to worry about CAN-SPAM. There is an unsubscribe URL, but that was added by IContact as part of their template.

As I commented in my blog yesterday about security issues and email, criminal spammers are increasingly using legitimate mailservers to send their spam. Some sign up for accounts normally, never intended to obey the ESPs AUP/TOS, as this spammer appears to have done. Some compromise accounts belonging to existing customers. The ESPs have to be on the watch for both.

I am quite certain that this is not the sort of customer that IContact wants.

Sending IP:

Spam Sample:

Actual Headers:

Received: from ( []) 
         by <xxx> with ESMTP id <xxx>; Mon, 04 Jun 2012 22:xx:xx -0000 (UT)
DKIM-Signature: <xxx>
Mime-Version: 1.0
From: "AwesomePennyStocks" <>
To: <xxx>
Date: Mon, 04 Jun 2012 18:xx:xx -0400
Subject: GWBU is the hottest pick this summer!
Errors-To: bounces+<xxx>
List-Unsubscribe: <<xxx>>
X-List-Unsubscribe: <<xxx>>
X-Unsubscribe-Web: <<xxx>>
X-ICPINFO: <xxx>
X-Return-Path-Hint: bounces+<xxx>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
Message-ID: <<xxx>>

Readable Email:

From: AwesomePennyStocks <>
To: <spamtrap>
Subject: GWBU is the hottest pick this summer!

Today’s pick is: GWBU

Hey everyone,

We have enormous faith in GWBU and there is a reason for that, and that reason is; factual evidence!

GWBU NAILED The efficiency tests with beyond amazing results!

You may have noticed that often our winning stocks are extremely promising, however the reason the stock market is generally considered a risk is that often the success of a product or a brand is an assumption, rarely a fact. The reason GWBU is headed for the stars and expected to leave 2$ far in the past soon is because the revolutionary technology that they are mass marketing has been tested, proven and sold!

That’s right, due to the result of extremely positive tests conducted in Poland, we now know that the Fuel Efficiency and Emission Device (FEED) is responsible for a dramatic reduction in emissions as well as increased mileage in the range of 14%. This is absolutely a revolutionary step forward in the field of fuel efficient transportation. In today’s society, which is increasingly aware of environmental well being, these results have a direct causal relationship with the amazing rise GWBU began last week.

Now, let’s take a look at the numbers:

GWBU can’t keep up with the incoming demand.

When we learned that GWBU had signed long-term contracts to distribute FEED in Europe we had a feeling the stock would skyrocket; we were right! In about a week, GWBU more than doubled. Ready for more?…

At the end of last week, we learned that GWBU signed a contract for 600000 Euros which will increase by 10% a year over the next 5 years. Essentially what this means is that we know for a fact that GWBU will have strong income over the next 5 years, and that is just with one contract. Think about it, how often do we see such comforting guarantees in this industry, and what do you think the wisest of investors will do once they hear about this contract.

We expect nothing less than huge gains for GWBU, and if it follows the same market patterns as similar picks, it could soon reach a 10$ trading price, which sounds like an early retirement to those of you who got on board early on!

Happy Trading!
Your AwesomePennyStocks Editor.
This message was sent to <xxx> from:
Centro Azteca S.A | 10 Anson Road #16-16/6087, International Plaza | Singapore, Singapore 079903, Singapore


34 Responses to Stock-Pumping Spam via an ESP :(

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