Excellent article on pump-n-dump spam in the Guardian
What I found most interesting was that it looks like the company being hyped was part of the scam. I had always assumed that the scammers were simply picking a penny stock at random and using it for the scam. However, the Guardian article dug much deeper into the scam and found what looks like active involvement on Southridge's part.
Oh, and if you're curious, this chart shows both share price and volume during the scam. As you can see, a lot of people fell for it, and they all lost money in the deal.
Wouldn't the world be a better place if all those people who buy stocks based on anonymous spam emails could just be fined the money up front for being dumbasses? They'd still lose the money as before, but then the rest of us wouldn't have to deal with the spam.
Seriously though, why aren't their brokers warning them before accepting the order? I'd bet this could even be done automatically with online trading systems.