MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA (Marketwire) - Perpetrators of "pump and dump" stock manipulation schemes are facing new barriers, thanks to new protection from stock trading fraud. The safeguard was unveiled today by VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN), the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world.
Aimed at organizations looking to minimize the costs and negative fall-out from fraud, the VeriSign® Identity Protection (VIP) Fraud Detection Service Stock Trading Module is the first of its kind to protect traders at the transaction level, tracking behavior specific to stock trading scams. The module uses the VIP Fraud Detection Service's self-learning behavioral engine to spot pump and dump activity by tracking and weighing multiple factors including stock risk, user behaviors, how trading compares to typical fraudulent trades, and the network effect that occurs when many users are making similar trades.
The VIP Fraud Detection Service Stock Trading Module will help prevent losses attributed to stock manipulation schemes that artificially hype the price of a thinly-traded stock or penny stock. One type of scheme dupes legitimate traders into buying such a stock on rumor. Another scheme involves the takeover of user accounts and purchases penny stock in large quantities. In both cases, when the stock price rises, fraudsters quickly dump their shares, collecting gains for themselves and causing investors and brokerages to lose money.
To demonstrate the losses attributed to pump and dump schemes, in June 2008, Dow Jones Newswires reported that a particular pump and dump scheme involving stock from GTX Global netted more than $31 million in profits(1). And in the fall of 2007, Kiplingers.com reported that pump and dump schemes from spam campaigns alone cost investors billions of dollars a year, according to SEC estimates(2).
"New stock frauds are far more sophisticated than the 'traditional pump and dump' scams," said Chris Christiansen, program vice president, Security Products and Services at IDC. "The attacks enable criminals to fraudulently pump up an unknown stock's price via unauthorized purchases from co-opted accounts. VeriSign offers a unique service that protects traders at the transaction level and customers' accounts from being compromised."
Because VeriSign can detect the fraud while it's taking place, traders and brokerages are protected from potentially huge losses. Until now, brokerages had to rely on counter measures including restrictive stock trading or solutions that only alert brokerages after trading has taken place and the money is already gone.
"Fraud isn't just a cost of doing business, it also undermines consumer confidence," said Fran Rosch, vice president of Identity and Authentication Services at VeriSign. "With the new Stock Trading Module, we extended the existing functionality of our VIP Fraud Detection Service to proactively identify fraud before damage can be done. Preventing pump and dump types of schemes makes a huge difference, and it's one only VeriSign can provide."
(1) June 26, 2008; Carol S. Remond, Dow Jones Newswires. "Government Indicts Stock Touts Kos, Hagen for Fraud, Money Launder" http://www.11.predictwallstreet.com/news/default.aspx?storyID=74605862&symbol=AHFI
(2) October 10, 2007; Thomas Anderson, Kiplinger.com. "Stock-Scam Crackdown: Too Little, Too Late?" http://www.kiplinger.com/columns/picks/archive/2007/pick1010.htm
VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) is the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world. Billions of times each day, VeriSign helps companies and consumers all over the world engage in communications and commerce with confidence. Additional news and information about the company is available at www.verisign.com.
Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause VeriSign's actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainty of future revenue and profitability and potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results due to such factors as the inability of VeriSign to successfully develop and market new products and services and customer acceptance of any new products or services, including the VeriSign Identity Protection Fraud Detection Service Stock Trading Module; the possibility that VeriSign's announced new services may not result in additional customers, profits or revenues; and increased competition and pricing pressures. More information about potential factors that could affect the company's business and financial results is included in VeriSign's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. VeriSign undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this press release.
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