The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) from Hong Kong issued a restriction notice to Emperor Securities Limited and Get Nice Securities Limited on Friday to client accounts linked to suspected ramp-and-dump scams.

According to the announcement, almost 17 trading accounts are related to suspected social media ramp-and-dump scams. It was detected by the authorities, whose activities involved market manipulation in October 2021 of a company publicly listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited.

With the notice in place, the two brokerage firms are prohibited from dealing or assisting in any way with the trading accounts, including the following activities: “(i) entering into transactions in respect of any securities; (ii) processing any withdrawals or transfers of securities and/or cash on the instructions of any authorized person of the accounts or by any person acting on their behalf; (iii) disposing of or dealing with any securities and/or cash on the instructions of any authorized person of the accounts or by any person acting on their behalf; and/or (iv) assisting another person to dispose of any relevant property or deal with any relevant property in a specified manner.”

The SFC argued that its decision was taken in the best interest of the public as the investigation is still underway, without disclosing additional details about the matter.

What is a Ramp-and-Dump Scam?

As noted by Hong Kong’s watchdog, such a scam is a form of stock market manipulation where fraudsters use different ways to ‘ramp up’ the share price of a publicly-listed company and then induce investors via social media networks to purchase the shares that the fraudsters ‘dump’ at a very expensive price.

Last month, the SFC announced that it has reprimanded and fined Ample Capital Limited (ACL) $5.5 million. Furthermore, the authority imposed a fine on Ample Capital Limited for failing to discharge its duties as the sponsor in the listing application of COCCI International Limited (COCCI) between 2016 and 2017.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) from Hong Kong issued a restriction notice to Emperor Securities Limited and Get Nice Securities Limited on Friday to client accounts linked to suspected ramp-and-dump scams.

According to the announcement, almost 17 trading accounts are related to suspected social media ramp-and-dump scams. It was detected by the authorities, whose activities involved market manipulation in October 2021 of a company publicly listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited.

With the notice in place, the two brokerage firms are prohibited from dealing or assisting in any way with the trading accounts, including the following activities: “(i) entering into transactions in respect of any securities; (ii) processing any withdrawals or transfers of securities and/or cash on the instructions of any authorized person of the accounts or by any person acting on their behalf; (iii) disposing of or dealing with any securities and/or cash on the instructions of any authorized person of the accounts or by any person acting on their behalf; and/or (iv) assisting another person to dispose of any relevant property or deal with any relevant property in a specified manner.”

The SFC argued that its decision was taken in the best interest of the public as the investigation is still underway, without disclosing additional details about the matter.

What is a Ramp-and-Dump Scam?

As noted by Hong Kong’s watchdog, such a scam is a form of stock market manipulation where fraudsters use different ways to ‘ramp up’ the share price of a publicly-listed company and then induce investors via social media networks to purchase the shares that the fraudsters ‘dump’ at a very expensive price.

Last month, the SFC announced that it has reprimanded and fined Ample Capital Limited (ACL) $5.5 million. Furthermore, the authority imposed a fine on Ample Capital Limited for failing to discharge its duties as the sponsor in the listing application of COCCI International Limited (COCCI) between 2016 and 2017.