Does This Really Work? Stock Scam Update

About once a week, I get a call from some stock sales boiler room that begins "My name is ________, do you remember me?  We talked about 6 months ago about a company named ________."  He then, if I let him, will proceed to tell me that he gave me a buy on this stock at that time and it's gone up some unbelievable percentage since then.

There is one problem.  We never talked before about a stock.  I never, ever let a boiler room guy go more than two sentences without hanging up or challenging his BS, so we couldn't have talked about it.  On a couple of occasions when one of the guys who called actually made the mistake of giving a specific date in the past for his call, a quick check of my calendar showed that I was out of town both times.  One guy got kind of scary.  I made the mistake of saying "Look, I know that Tony Soprano or whoever is standing beside you pushing this stock, but I am not interested and I can spot your line of bullshit a mile away."  The guy then proceeded to tell me, as a thinly veiled threat I guess, about his prior convictions for throwing a Molotov cocktail into the offices of someone he did not like.

What these guys are trying to do is to fake a track record of good stock picking.  Reputable brokers used to call me once in a while and say -- here are ten stocks, write them down and I will call you back in 6 months and you can see for yourself if I know how to pick stocks.  These new guys skip this step, looking backwards to find a stock that did well over the last 6 months and then trying to convince you they told you about it months ago before it went up. 

Is anyone out there so busy that they fall for this, and allow themselves to be convinced they had such a conversation in the past?  I get these calls at least once a week, so if they are expending this effort, it must be working on someone.


  1. Joe:

    just in case you didn't know, the trick with the stock picking is to give out many many lists, and only call back those people that got the 'correct' list.

  2. MesaEconoGuy:

    Tell them you’re a Series 7, and are employed by a competing brokerage house.

    They’ll hang up. It’s illegal to pitch to competitors.

  3. Craig:

    I keep getting those e-mails that say, "Buy this (unlisted) stock, it's about to go way up!" Of course, the sender already bought it, and is hoping I do so as well to make his stock rise so he can sell for a profit.