The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is going after pump-and-dump groups on Telegram.
On Monday, an account under the name “ASIC” posted a message in the “ASX Pump Organization” on Telegram to warn around 300 members of the group that “we’re monitoring this platform and we may be investigating you.”
“Coordinated pumping of shares for profits can be illegal. We can see all trades and have access to trader identities. […] You run the risk of a criminal record, including fines of more than $1 million and prison time.”
Many of the group’s members assumed the account to be fake; however, ASIC confirmed the validity of the now-deleted message to The Australian newspaper.
While some members of the community have laughed off the message from ASIC, others have vented their frustrations at being targeted instead of firms and corporate traders.
“What ASIC needs to do is go after the corporates who inside trade and short companies all the time, and not spend valuable time here hassling 300 small investors who are doing nothing wrong by sharing stock recommendations. This has to be the biggest joke in history,” a member wrote.
On Sept. 23, ASIC published a warning about a “concerning trend” of social media groups engaging in “blatant” pump-and-dump campaigns. It stated that “in some cases, posts on social media forums may mislead subscribers by suggesting the activity is legal,” before warning of prison sentences of up to 15 years and fines of more than $1