StockTwits: the Facebook of Fraud

StockTwits
  • Useful Investment Advice
  • Advertised Money Mangers
  • Promoted Trading Educators
  • Trustworthy and Honest
  • Corporate Fidelity
1.0

Summary

StockTwits is a swamp. Where fake and fraudulent investment hustlers are hawking all manner of investment products. Included in this swamp of financial predators are con artists pitching fraudulent hedge funds, phony trading signal providers, trading educators with no verifiable trading performance, and all manner of nut cases promoting penny stock riches.

All of this is enabled and encouraged by StockTwits. In fact, their advertising model promotes some of the worst of the worst that TradingSchools.Org has written about.

Does StockTwits care that investors are being duped into all manner of shady investments promoted on the StockTwits social media platform? Apparently not. Nearly every month, a press release from the FBI, CFTC, or the SEC is reporting multiple vendors that have been busted for a fraudulent promotion tied directly to StockTwits.

StockTwits is a shitshow of ridiculous investment nonsense. A virtual financial sewer of fraud, entirely corporate-sanctioned.

StockTwits: a short history

Stocktwits is a very popular social media platform. For those not familiar with Stocktwits, think of Stocktwits as a hybrid between Twitter and Facebook. But unlike Twitter and Facebook, the StockTwits social media platform specializes in streaming all manner of stocks, futures, and Forex trading chatter.

Stocktwits was founded back in 2008 by Howard Lindzon, currently living in Coronado California, and Soren Macbeth, currently living in Portland Oregon.

The growth story of StockTwits has been incredible. From 2008 through 2013, the monthly web traffic basically languished from 100k to 400k monthly web visitors. This might sound like alot, but in comparison to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, these traffic numbers were quite narrow. However, during 2014 it appears that the StockTwits website traffic really exploded and is now currently averaging over 5 million monthly web visitors. A screen shot from SemRush Web Analytics displays the robust growth.

StockTwits

StockTwits Explosive Growth

How StockTwits generates so much web traffic

The marketing strategy for StockTwits is clever, subtle, remarkably simple, and highly effective. StockTwits focuses on ranking keywords that are specifically related to stock trading symbols.

For instance, using Ahrefs.com web analytics software, we took a look at what keywords are driving the most web traffic to StockTwits. If you simply Google search the stock symbol “AMD” you will find that StockTwits ranks on page one of Google for this simple search term. Ranking for just these three letters (AMD) generates over 500,000 potential monthly visitors to the StockTwits.com website.

Now scale these simple, three and four letter search terms relating to stock trading symbols, and you can begin to imagine the cumulative effect. It is an extremely powerful position and opens the door to massive advertising opportunities for StockTwits.

StockTwits advertising model

A review of the StockTwits advertising program reveals that any person or company can have their “Twits” and/or banner advertisements strategically positioned above the noisy environment. For instance, suppose that you are a trading educator, trading signal provider, a trading software provider etc., and you want your ad to be placed at the ‘top of the Twit stream’ that guarantees that a minimum amount of eyeballs will see your stock twits or banner ads. StockTwits allows this for a fee. The typical advertising rate is $10 per thousand views.

StockTwits also (unofficially) allows users to create multiple user profiles. Suppose that you are selling a trading signal service that specializes in predicting the price direction for AMD stock. You sell a $99 per month service that claims to predict the price of AMD stock at an accuracy of 99.9% and has earned 25% monthly gains for the past 100 years. With never a losing day!

With such amazing performance claims, most people would never believe such hyped nonsense. However, since StockTwits (unofficially) allows a person to create hundreds or even thousands of fake Stock Twits profiles, then this allows a person to essentially swamp the web page that is displaying information relating to AMD stock.

Think about his a moment. Imagine that you are selling a trading signal service that proclaims massive profits trading AMD stock and StockTwits is allowing you to dominate the AMD StockTwits web page with advertisements? In addition, suppose that you also have registered hundreds of fake StockTwits social media accounts, and are using these accounts to continuously post how awesome the AMD stock trading signal service? The effect is a self-reinforcing, virtuous circle of perceived authenticity. Where a banner ad is strategically placed and then hundreds of fake StockTwits accounts are “Twitting” that the AMD stock trading service is earning everyone massive profits.

Suppose that you are a con-artist. And you just got of prison only a few months prior. You are looking for a new scam. And desperately want to rip off as many people as quickly as possible. After surveying the landscape, you are left with a few choice opportunities. You can either rob a bank, or you can be lazy and become a “Hedge Fund Manager.” You decide to become a “Hedge Fund Manager.” As crazy as this might sound, this is happening nearly every day at StockTwits. Let’s take a look at a few recent examples.

How to scam people using only StockTwits

StockTwits Super Investor

StockTwits “Super Trader”

Mohamud Abdi Ahmed recently got out of Federal Prison in late 2014. He always wanted to be a Hedge Fund Manager. The sound of ‘Hedge Fund Manager’ sounded so fancy, so distinct, a person of royalty. He was tired of being a common thief that robbed parishioners of his local mosque of $3 million dollars through a check cashing scheme. It was time to finally become a ‘Hedge Fund Manager’. So “Abe” set up a website named 2waytrading.com and populates the website with a faked and fraudulent spreadsheet of “real trades”.

A review of the performance spreadsheet shows monthly profits ranging from $30k to $150k. With this truly amazing investment performance in hand, he then creates a StockTwits profile and then begins populating the page with hundreds of supposedly profitable trades. In addition, he then creates dozens of fake StockTwits accounts and begins streaming accolades to himself, from what appears to be random StockTwits users. A virtuous marketing circle that conveyed confidence, and was brimming with authenticity.

Next, he contacts StockTwits and informs StockTwits of his amazing trading abilities. The StockTwits advertising representative is only too happy to allow him to advertise his website to millions of Stock Twits users.

StockTwits gave Abe the royal treatment he always wanted. And felt that he so righteously deserved. As hundreds of thousands of people arrived on Abe’s StockTwits profile page, he would then push the StockTwits web traffic to his personal website at 2waytrading.com.

Once a person arrived at Abe’s website, they would then be tempted into signing up for a newsletter that blasted supposedly winning trades, day after day. As Abe built trust with his audience, he would then offer his “MSA” or “Managed Small Accounts” program where a client would pay a nonrefundable “commitment” fee of $2,500 to have their account auto traded by Abe.

Each client was required to have a minimum of $30,000 available in their brokerage account. Abe would request the username and passwords of each account holder’s brokerage account. He would then execute his truly amazing options trading strategies for the benefit of each account holder. Abe would also receive a management fee of 20% of all winning trades.

In total, 32 clients signed up for the “Managed Small Accounts” auto-trading program. In total, from just the “Managed Small Accounts” trading program, Abe was paid a minimum of $125,000 in fees.

What happened to the trading accounts of clients that signed up for this program? Not so good. In fact, after gaining control of the investment accounts of each individual, Abe would then begin wildly trading each account as quickly as possible. He was incentivized by the 20% fee for all winning trades. And so he immediately overleveraged each account to the maximum, hoping that a few accounts would “hit the lotto” and he would garner a huge management fee. Of course, the markets are not casinos and they tend to drain the accounts of those that trade with wild abandon.

For the 32 clients that signed up, it was a bloodbath of losses and pain. Many lost their entire life savings. Finally, on May 4, 2017, the SEC stepped in with an emergency asset freeze and shut down 2waytrading.com. And since Abe was still on probation for his last fraud, his probation officer was notified and Abe was deposited into a holding tank. Abe will be heading back to Federal prison shortly. The complete SEC complaint can be found here.

Thank you StockTwits for promoting this asshole.

Another StockTwits “Hedge Fund Manager”

StockTwits "Hedge Fund Manager"

StockTwits “Hedge Fund Manager”

Tamer Moumen was tired of being a pizza delivery driver for Dominoes Pizza. He always wanted to be one of those fancy hedge fund managers. With their yachts, Champaign, and never ending shrimp cocktail. He was ready to be the person his wife and kids could be proud of. And so Tamer created a company named Crescent Ridge Capital Partners (CrescantRidgeFunds.com)and began populating the website with a never ending stream of winning day trades.

Next, Tamer created a StockTwits profile page and used the StockTwits handle ‘Hedgetamer’ to push his supposed amazing trading performance. Emulating the same strategy as 2waytrading.com, Tamer created hundreds of fake StockTwits user accounts that consistently proclaimed his trading greatness to the world.

Finally, Tamer began offering his ‘Hedge Fund’ through paid advertisements on StockTwits.com. And StockTwits was only too happy to take his money and promote his ‘investment services’.

As you can imagine the trading abilities of a Dominoes Pizza deliveryman was not very good. In fact, Tamer never even traded! From 2012 through April 2017, with the help of aggressive StockTwits advertisements…Tamer Moumen was able to convince over 50 customers to invest $9,000,000.

As fast as Tamer received money from investors, he would spend it on luxury items including a $1 million dollar home in Virginia and a new Tesla. Finally, during the first few months of 2017, after clients could not withdraw funds…the FBI stepped in. Immediately, Tamer admitted that the entire “hedge fund” was a fraud. Tamer Moumen plead guilty on May 12, 2017, will be sentenced on July 28, 2017.

Thank you StockTwits for promoting this amazing investment opportunity.

StockTwits: More Hedge Fund Phonies

The list of Stock Twits phonies, fakes and frauds that advertise or promote on the StockTwits platform is nearly inexhaustible. Shall I continue?

StockTwitsTraderHow about Nicholas Mitsakos, who plead guilty on May 25, 2017, for running a fake and fraudulent “long-short hedge fund” named Matrix Capital. As quickly as Mitsakos received funds ($2 million), they were promptly spent on personal items including car payments, rent, credit cards, and a never ending shrimp cocktail.

This butthole claimed to be managing $3 billion dollars in assets for various banks including Templeton Funds and Fortress Investments.

Included in his incredibly impressive and 100% fraudulent resume are a supposed MBA from Harvard Business School, a job as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, a board member of UCLA’s Center for Cerebral Palsy, a founding member of Donald Trump University, and the single largest donor to the Hillary Clinton Presidential Library.

Ok, maybe not a founding member of Donald Trump University or the Hillary Clinton Presidential Library, but you get the point.

StockTwits: a terrible place for investment advice

Since 2015, I have spoken with dozens of people that have been burned by supposed trading educators and money managers found on StockTwits. The common underlying thread is that nearly all parties found these services by looking for information on buying and selling stocks.

For instance, “Beverly” came into an inheritance after her father passed away. The $120k that she received was more money than she ever imagined. She thought that it made sense to invest in companies that she was familiar with. And so, she Google searched “Apple Stock.” On the first page of the Google search, she finds StockTwits. She then proceeded to StockTwits.

Once she arrived at Stock Twits, she began looking at the StockTwits page for Apple or AAPL. She immediately began to read the Twit Stream of supposed traders and vendors offering all manner of advice on how to trade Apple stock. One of these vendors was Jason Bond. As you can imagine, things didn’t turn out very well. Her $120k quickly turned into $90k. A lesson she had to learn the hard way.

Thanks for reading today’s article. If you have ever had any negative experiences with someone advertising on StockTwits, I would love to read your story. Please leave your comments below.

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39 Comments on "StockTwits: the Facebook of Fraud"

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Terry
Guest
Rob B
Guest

Another article showing how this entire industry is corrupt with pizza delivery people claiming to be brillant hedge fund managers steals folks money and what does ahole Terry do? He post a promotional link to webinar by yet another scammer.

Unless this is some type of sarcasm that I do not get that BS link should be removed and Terry taken out and tarred and feathered with how boiling oil.

Mike M
Guest

Rob, How can I get involved in your Skype trading meetings?

Rob B
Guest
You would be so disappointed. I do not have meetings. I just talk with other traders I have met over the years one on one, not as a group. And the things I talk about I have a feeling would not be of interest to any day traders. I normally focus on what is out of favor and if the reason for it being out of favor is a real trend or a temporary issue. For example, today I talked to another trader about oil stocks. They are out of favor and you can get a nice dividend (I know… Read more »
Tom
Guest
Stocktwits is the epicenter of scumbag marketers. I dug around a couple years ago to figure out how their biggest contributors had thousands of followers , when it never seemed there was many people active on the platform. I soon figured out that 70-80% of the accounts were either ghost or blind accounts used to pump paying advertisers numbers. A deeper dive turned out many of the accounts used CATCH-All email domain accounts. A catch all is a way you could create email accounts with just about any prefix to your master domain. I found so many [email protected][email protected]… Read more »
Mohammad
Guest

Hi Emmett,

I couldn’t help but notice you still didn’t write a review on Meir Barak. He is pretty popular on YouTube; I hope you consider it.

Thanks.

Edward
Guest

Dear Emerett,

Could you check AscendTrading?

jacob
Guest

Emmett,

You should review livetraders.com. They are the biggest scam i ever seen. Check out their “hedge-fund” and connections with Elite trader pro. There a good story for your blog hidden somewhere.

Rob B
Guest
Jacob, You are 100% right. I tired livetraders.net a long time ago and wrote what a scam it is so I will not repeat it. The funnest part was if you took their BS course, which basically is Pristine course, without even establishing a track record they said they are going to let you trade for their hedge fund. Where in the world would you find some idiott that would invest their money in those clowns hedge fund and then let some unproven day trader trade their account. But sadly Emmett has clearly taken the VIG on this TR. If… Read more »
Cyn
Guest

Ah, so finally we know the TR that scammed you. I always wondered, as you kept talking about that TR but never quite mentioned it. Damn thieves.

Rob B
Guest
Actually been scammed by many, but most like this one was small potatoes. I have talked about the TR that scammed me or maybe I should say the one that pissed me off the most as it had years of fake profits it showed, which was all exposed on BMT. It pissed me off the most I guess as I spent the most time believing and trying it. I thought I must just be doing something wrong as the TR operator kept making money using his complete fake system. It was this TR that made me start to realize there… Read more »
Rob B
Guest

No! No! No! it was not Steve DeWitt that you stated scammed you and was one of the reasons you created this blog. Took me a bit to find that old post, but here is a reminder. Starts with; Well on a personal note.

George Mahshigian Trading Review

dtchurn
Guest
It’s amazing to see how so many formerly duped vets of trading “schools” like ourselves had somewhat similar churned paths. This just goes to show how insidious this whole retail targeted industry is especially with no countering beacon of info often swamped over by shills , compromised sites like bmtfio and media bribes ala ripoffreport, Just pay enough vig and ripoff report deletes the vast history of complaints about Levin. Just pay off archive.org, and the architect history and fake spreadsheets of WarriorTrading vanish like they never existed. I too am wondering about the Jigsaw review which was mentioned to… Read more »
jacob
Guest
Your absolutely right Rob. Regarding the Hedgefund. Not sure about it. I think the setup i clever, even for an investor. You deposit $5k and your max losses cant be more that deposit. So for investor it is a almost risk free way or earning morning. If the fund has a good back end btw, controlling traders and risk. But yes it seems like emmett took a side on this. He always replies on email regarding other TR. But when i comes to livetraders.com he dont respond. Either they pay him to shut up or hes on the team some… Read more »
Rob B
Guest

Instead of the mile high club, this company joins the infamous degenerate want a be day trader con artist club which includes:

1) Ninja Trader Cesspool of Trading Educators.
2) Invest-0-scam-ia
3) Lying Dean Handley and his complete BS reviews, and
4) Big Mike and his mindless followers.

Actually I should stop and make a list of all the club members.

dtchurn
Guest
Great review Emmett, much appreciated. I’d never really utilized stocktwits but it’s been everywhere in your face where web surfing on stocks are concerned in recent years. I’d come across spam email and links leading to quite a few supposed “new” or “private” hedge funds with stocktwits signal services. They could probably be the most damaging of the con club, beating out the ninja cesspool for top spot on the list and the most misleading as they purport to be linked to the legit side of the financial industry while ninja in the back of most retailers’ sometimes unawakened kool-aid… Read more »
Pete
Guest
Lots of deplorables trading vendors on Stocktwits but I’ve met some seemingly good people who aren’t selling anything and read anecdotes of realistic things like accounts being blown – much more rare to see that on trading forums. Atleast Stocktwits does encourage traders to make real-time calls so it’s less cancerous than trading forums, by the way Anne Marie Baiynd is the female AL Brooks from Stocktwits. On the issue of social media and scams-Elitetrader and Futures.io are similar to Stocktwits but far worse in a subtle and pernicious way. I’ve never had a tweet deleted, secretly edited, or had… Read more »
Mike
Member

Anne Marie is a scam, she is in her chat room about 1.5-2 hours a day and most of that time she spends taking ‘breaks’. When she is in the room she just does play by play of live action, absolutely useless, she had a free trial and I lasted 3 days in her room before I had enough.

dtchurn
Guest

I had a trial too with Anne-Marie Bungee. Ridiculous spreadsheets of options play results no better than Jason Carter derivative. Shamster lady with shills all over investiscamma. That said, her book is a cheap intro for the absolute beginner, so if you’re going to get it, find it used instead of getting duped by clothespin nosed Bbwarry Burns and his overpriced intro and intermediate hotdog packages. I’d dumped my book in the donation bin, so maybe some homeless guy has it now.

dtchurn
Guest
(This post also informs the general readership) Wrong, you can write posts about blowing accounts, and trader mistakes on bmt and elite. Like the infamous “$10,000 on trader education and still not profitable!” thread by Bobby. Alejo, and some hawaiin guy have posted they’d blown over 200k daytrading and 50k on zulutrade. GaryD often averaged down scores of contracts and blown up big like three times memed with that bunny pic of ski jumping. (past GaryD readers know what I’m talking about, lol) You don’t see failure posts often because most posts are daydreams about trading or rampant shill posting… Read more »
dtchurn
Guest

Tagging my posts again as usual, useless mental & diseased gollum.

Pete
Guest

Futures mag spams brooks on Stocktwits

dtchurn
Guest

And who cares about your crap, after all the cessmess you’ve done on the comments. Stocktwits less “cancerous”. Says anything even flapping both sides of his mouth supporting shills, to be contrary to my post, what a fool , LOL, it’ never work loser. You got beat, bad, and your hate of my posts is so transparent to all, the others have called your bs, but anyone can see you tagging my posts the most. high-interest pathetic.

Pete
Guest

How is it hate of your posts? If you look at the Brooks comments I said I like you and asked you to stop flaming me because I like you and happen to tag your posts you flame me. These “cesspool” and “guttersnipe” ad hominems you and Cyn use are dogwhistles for the hate that dare not speak its name.

Stray Dog
Guest

Do I hear whistles?

dtchurn
Guest

Ridiculously transparent, trying to act like on high ground, lol. Anyone whose seen the trail of posts can see how you escalated the cess enraged and your b__ks disease has morphed to tagging posts and taking guttysnipes when the pathetic use of alter ids fail.

Cyn
Guest
I do not hate you. Initially, I was sympathetic to you and wanted to show you that you had made some mistakes and to own them. For that, you started trailing me all over the site and tagging my posts with negative thumbs, and making derogatory remarks. You are beneath my contempt. To paraphrase a well said saying, “It is pointless to argue with an irresponsible ignoramus, because onlookers might not be able to tell the difference.” Keep tagging my posts. I see that you are back to it. After you are done, go for another high-interest loan, piss it… Read more »
dtchurn
Guest

Exactly Cyn, I was the same way too. I gave him a chance i my very first posts to him, then he started doing his hind smelling insults to me. Then I realized Stray and the others were right about him being an ugly troll-gollum all along who latches on like a whining insect who does nothing in deed about his supposed b__ks obsession. Just sue b__ks for the radioactive retro-active clawbacks ignoramus and make a case about his “low level genetic markers”, lol.

Pete
Guest

You showed nothing but the sanctimonious holier-than-thou judgementalism and crudeness in the Mook comments and Al brooks comments. This goes for you and dtchurn. But to hate someone for that? Your judgemental attitude is ironic considering how many self-righteous conservatives judge people like Emmett over there past. Madame Princess Look at how everyone was giving me thumbs downs in the Mook comments after your derogatory remark did I get all prickly?

Cyn
Guest
Your complaint about using a high-interest loan to trade a system that you had not verified, showed your stupidity. Instead of telling you that, I pointed out that complaining about it is pathetic drivel. That was kind. In reality, the complaint about your stupidity was itself a telling comment on the inferiority of your intellect. I was trying to be kind in not saying this, but as you persist in following me around and mentioning my name, the gloves are now off. Sometimes the only way to show a person the level of their stupidity is to get into the… Read more »
Pete
Guest

Ok, I am sorry, this isnt good for me to read in my situation from trading and it is scary too. I will not mention you or dtchurn ever again, please accept my apology.

dtchurn
Guest

You’ve already proved your tagging foolish rage all over the boards. Now acting like it’s all fresh, and I was the instigator when it’s you who escalated it to the worst levels. Now psychotically trying to act like it never happened and pathetically using multiple alters pretending to be different but the b__ks disease always seeps out. This is getting ridiculously tiresome. complete mental case. stop tagging my posts and taking guttysnipes!

Mike M
Guest

I know this is going to sound redundant, but it truly amazes me that there are websites perpetrating fraud on a large scale everyday without any repercussions from law enforcement. The goal of financial regulations is to protect retail investors from these con men, but instead of thwarting their actions, they seem to grow. There must be more the regulators can do to slow the infection from spreading.

Pete
Guest

Welcome to America buddy. Shkreli has been charged with fraud and is happily camming away on Youtube and knows he’s untouchable. I assume Emmett only did time because he’s a WASP.

dtchurn
Guest

Like no one else knows about Sherkli and the retailer’s 100k short loss on KBIO from last year i.e. mentally diseased preconception lol.

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