SINGAPORE – Heeding advice given by “investment gurus”, seven victims bought more than 49,000 shares in a United States-listed company in recent months.

Within two days, the share price plunged by nearly 80 per cent and they made sharp losses of over US$1.07 million (S$1.45 million).

Their experience is not unique.

In an advisory on Wednesday (Aug 11), the police said they have seen a resurgence in such “pump and dump” scams, where fraudsters hype up the price of a company’s shares by sharing fake or greatly exaggerated positive news.

Once unwitting victims buy the shares and the price rises, these fraudsters, who claim to be from abroad, quickly sell their holdings for a profit. This causes the price to plunge and the victims are left counting their losses.

The police said that most victims got to know the swindlers through social media or instant messaging platforms WhatsApp and WeChat.

“In almost all instances, the victims were persuaded to…

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