By Adele Burton Financial information site www.stockhouse.co.uk has warned investors that they i...
By Adele Burton
Financial information site www.stockhouse.co.uk has warned investors that they ignore the possibility of manipulation of messages posted on online bulletin boards at their financial peril.
Those frequenting online chat forums can post messages hoping to promote a stock before selling it at profit.
Bulletin boards enable investors to exchange information on individual holdings, companies, funds and general market trends, but they can be abused.
"The use of online bulletin boards is set to soar in the UK," said Sally Yates, managing director of StockHouse Media UK. "They are particularly popular with investors who love to share information, ask questions and offer opinions about stocks, markets and investment trends, But there is an increased risk that novice investors will be deceived by unscrupulous posters. We are issuing a checklist to help spot potential scams,"
StockHouse has issued nine checkpoints to consider when using bulletin boards. Users may have more than one log-in name but genuine investors may be able to tell it is the same person by looking at the time they use the site, the style of writing and phrases used.
A user may hint at company news before it has been announced and StockHouse said that "usually, he is the one who starts the rumour and might often state that he heard it from someone else".
Someone may make it a priority to discover bad news about a particular company and bombard the noticeboard.
"These individuals might include ex-friends, ex-family and ex-employees. Such people don't just post a single negative item. These individuals either take one negative news angle and make it look like 'the sky is falling' or they continuously raise it. Frequent appearances by individuals who vent their spleen is a clue that gives them away," StockHouse said.