The SEC has been cracking down on email stock promoters over the last few years and there are only a couple effective email stock promoters left. Part of the problem is that using email to pump leaves lots of traces — to avoid spam filters the promoters need to use email services (like iContact) that will keep records of their names and payment information. If the SEC or DoJ investigates manipulation in a stock or illegal selling of unregistered shares it is relatively easy to locate the promoters. Spam promotions have worked in the past but it is very hard to beat modern spam filters (and of course spamming is treated as a more serious crime than stock manipulation).
Some intrepid promoters figured that the best way to avoid those problems of email is to just avoid it and instead use a messenger program, in this case WhatsApp. Many people were spammed with messages promoting Avra Inc (AVRA) this morning. What followed was a quick spike and massive dump. Expect more such WhatsApp spam promotions in the future.
Below are some screenshots of the WhatsApp spam messages shared on Twitter:
— Chuck Quarters (@bcs5099) August 21, 2015
— Dan (@dc_trader1) August 21, 2015
Below is the intraday 1-minute chart of AVRN