Investing based on SMS tips can be costly

The nuisance of unsolicited and deceptive stock tip SMS messages has reached epic proportions in the past few years. A lot of unwitting investors have invested and lost their hard earned money.

This is how a typical pump and dump scheme works. An operator or operators buy into a stock well in advance and start sending out messages to increase the share price. Once the price has gone up they dump the stock and leave unwitting investors who didn’t know any better in the lurch.
These schemes can range anywhere from a few days to a few months.

In a bid to raise awareness about these messages we decided to analyse some of these companies of which we have received messages dating back to about a year. The numbers are astounding. Some of these stocks have fallen by over 50%. This is during the period when the Indian markets have been on a spectacular bull run.

Stock Date Price on the date of SMS CMP Performance (%)
SUNSTAR REALTY DEVELOPMENT LTD 01-03-2018 16.5 9.39 -43%
VIJI FINANCE 1/25/2018 13.1 8.64 -34%
AMSONS 1/17/2018 5.02 4.23 -16%
SKP 01-10-2018 38.2 17.1 -55%
ALPSMOTOR 12/26/2017 26.55 19.1 -28%
UNICRSE 12/29/2017 7.7 3.64 -53%
BOMBAY RAYON 12/19/2017 169.3 71.2 -58%
STEELXIND 11/24/2017 125.65 34.75 -72%
ECS 11/23/2017 21.9 8.44 -61%
SWADEIN 11/20/2017 3.85 1.9 -51%
ALORA 10-06-2017 10.47 4.75 -55%
EDYNAMICS 05-10-2017 13.22 3.13 -76%
KALPA COMMERCIAL 10/13/2017 32.8 13.45 -59%
FUNNY SOFTWARE LTD 9/29/2017 13.9 8.46 -39%
ASHIRWAD CAPITAL 09-09-2017 5.18 2.71 -48%
SAIBABA 8/31/2017 37.3 13.63 -63%
COMFORT COMMOTRADE 8/21/2017 26.75 11.64 -56%
MOHIT INDUSTRIES 08-09-2017 58 39.9 -31%
DWEKAM INDUSTRIES (Danube) 7/24/2017 3.05 3.57 17%
NECC 7/18/2017 53.2 28.2 -47%
CTL 6/20/2017 10.4 5.11 -51%

Typically operators pick targets where there is very little liquidity and extremely poor fundamentals because it is easier to jack up prices in such scrips. And in 99% of the cases, these stocks trade on BSE. Here are the financials of Funny Software Ltd which is making the rounds. A whole lot of Zeros and yet the stock is trading at a PE of 933.

2016 2017
Sales 2.42 2.46
Expenses 2.36 2.78
Operating Profit 0.06 -0.32
OPM 2.48 -13.01
Other Income 0 0.37
Interest 0 0
Depreciation 0.02 0.01
Profit before tax 0.03 0.04
Tax 0.01 0.01
Net Profit 0.02 0.02
EPS 0.02 0.01

Liquidity is one of the biggest risks in such stocks. An operator pushes the stock prices up by circulating messages. Once a stock has moved up he starts dumping his shares which causes the stock to fall. When the stock prices start falling more sellers pile on creating a vicious circle. Good stocks have enough liquidity to absorb such selling pressure in most cases. But most of these stocks have very small circuit limits ranging between 2-5% and when the operators dump stocks these stocks hit lower circuits for weeks and in some cases months together. When a stock hits a lower circuit there are no fresh buyers. All that small investors can do is to watch while the value of their investments goes down.

We have seen a lot of newbies and people who aren’t very market savvy falling for these tips and risking their money. We have been raising this issue with the regulators and at numerous brokers forums and hope that some action is taken. But in the meanwhile, investors must remain vigilant and avoid falling for such obvious traps. There are enough resources online including a couple of educational initiatives we run where people can educate themselves about the markets. It is always advisable to have at the least a working knowledge of the markets before putting in money.

If you are a beginner in the markets it is always better and safer to start investing in mutual funds. Once you have enough understanding of how the markets work, you can dabble in equities. The markets provide enough opportunities to make money on fundamentally sound stocks.

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A timely Alert. Unfortunately there will always be a few who are going to get cheated out of their hard earned money. Ignorance and greed are equally to be blamed

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Great initiative… :smile:

My 2 cents by this video link…

Even after having DND we are not able to stop these SMS can we do anything about this ?

Sms Tips Have Become Past Thing, People use New Techniques

RBI LRS - Liberated Remittance Scheme is used to send margin money for Forex Trading. Your money / accounts maybe forfeited & you could face a lawsuit.

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Like me many traders/investors , many times posted about this kind of activity on Q&A, but , i think did not got much attentions by others , here is the link about Tipster SMS : Discuss and trade with caution
Don't Buy BRFL Share, they are manipulating

SEBI , Media , Telecom operators are all quite silent about this kind of problems. especially ignored by SEBI , (until unless somebody post about this problem on Face book/Twitter ) .
It seems that Media . SEBI are colluding with Pump & Dump operators.