Dan (from Armidale) received some spam recently which gave him some "hot" stock market tips. The spammer told him that the company Vocalscape was going to make some "unreal profits" ... Ahh but for whom? That is the question.
<sarcasm> Of course, when information arrives from such a reliable source, we should all rush out and buy up lots of Vocalscape stock! </sarcasm>
The full transcript has been stored in the PGTS mail abuse database here.
This turned out to be quite an interesting sample of spam for many reasons.
First, it appears that it came from his own ISP! This seems to have been a common problem for this ISP which was listed not long ago. I also found evidence of mail abuse from a domain hosted by them There was one positive in the Openrbl multi DNSBL lookup list, and reports in the mail abuse section of http://groups.google.com/groups. Following an Openrbl reference, I found a recent mail abuse report from someone in the US. This has the appearance of something from a Microsoft spam zombie, it is dated 20-Jan-2005.
Jupiter.picknowl.com.au is the primary MX for the picknowl.com.au domain (hosted by Chariot), so it may be possible that zombies within that domain are relaying via this host, as well as via the Chariot host.
Microsoft spam zombies are so common, that it is nothing to get excited about. And the topic of spam zombies is one which could be worth an entire essay.
However, before I go off on a tangent about spam zombies, I should return to the topic of this particular spam, which is the New York Registered company, Vocalscape. This email appears to be part of a stock market scam. I am not sure if this particular scam has a name, but I suppose one could call it Outsider Trading?
To date, this is all I have discovered about Vocalscape, Inc.
Vocalscape, Inc. is an emerging developer of interactive communication software. The Company has created software and interactive solutions revolving around global communications and Data Voice Convergence. Vocalscape focuses on adding to customers website and customer support centres by integrating website solutions that enable real human assistance, live interaction services such as instant messaging, voice over the Internet (VOIP) and interactive desktop solutions sharing solutions. Web site: http://www.vocalscape.com
The above appears to be a press release of some sort from Vocalscape. It has probably been sent around to various websites that offer stock market analysis. It is still featured on many news websites around the world (esp those dealing with technology or Internet related news). In addition, many press releases often have the following news snippet:
Vocalscape Announces Partnership with VBS Telecom
Vocalscape appears to be a NY company:
VCSC-Vocalscape, Inc. Address: 282 Katonah Ave. #200 Katonah, NY 10536 USA
As usual, this spam seems to have gone all around the globe. Google reported 240 hits for the search "Vocalscape+spam+stock+market". The question is ... has this helped their stock price?
The following is a chart which I found in a quote from ADVFN.com:
Interestingly, there is a missing chunk from this graph. And it is just before this particular spam was sent. I am not sure yet whether this is significant. Most of the spam reports seem to indicate that this particular spamming campaign peaked between December 2004 and January 2005. However, I have found reports going back to October 2004 (see this SPAM notice). And there does seem to have been a large spike in the price last year. So it is possible that there was a previous spam campaign promoting this stock.