On March 8, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it has suspended trading in the securities of 35 companies quoted on the Pink Sheets quotations service that have been the subject of recent and repeated spam email campaigns. The trading suspensions – the most ever aimed at spammed companies – were ordered because of questions regarding the adequacy and accuracy of information about the companies, none of which are subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
The trading suspensions are part of a stepped-up SEC effort - code named "Operation Spamalot" - to protect investors from potentially fraudulent spam email hyping small company stocks with phrases like, "Ready to Explode," "Ride the Bull," and "Fast Money." It's estimated that 100 million of these spam messages are sent every week, triggering dramatic spikes in share price and trading volume before the spamming stops and investors lose their money.
The trading suspensions will last for ten business days. The trading suspensions commenced March 8 at 9:30 a.m., EDT, and will terminate at 11:59 p.m., EDT, on March 21, 2007.