|Five cent shares could snare you |
R.D.M. writes: I have 31,400 shares in Thaon, an American company. The shares are near worthless, but I have received an unsolicited call from a Canadian company called Kerona Trading Limited, claiming to act for a buyer willing to pay US$3.45 per share (£2.20). While the prospective gain is very large, I smell a terrible rat.
TRUST your sense of smell - this is a scam. Thaon is a tiny Californian communications company. Shares trade at five cents (about 3p) so, why would anyone offer $3.45?
If you show any interest, Kerona will add strings to the deal. It might say that to offload Thaon shares you must become a Kerona client first, by buying whatever it offers. Or, it might say the buyer will only purchase blocks of 100,000 Thaon shares so you have to buy more before you can sell.
Whatever the explanation, it will involve you parting with cash, not receiving it. So, I asked the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) to look at Kerona. Helpfully, an investigator went straight round to Kerona's address at 366 Bay Street in Toronto. He found no trace of the company.
Jeff Fennell of the OSC told me: 'Please encourage Mr M. to exercise extreme caution in any dealing with Kerona Trading Limited, as what you have described bears the hallmarks of a scam, of a type sometimes referred to as a 'double dip' or 'recovery scam'.
You might like to contact a Canadian police unit called Phonebusters, which deals with this sort of thing: www.phonebusters.com, or telephone 001 705 495 8501.
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