- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 28, 2005

From combined dispatches

NASD, regulator of the Nasdaq Stock Market, warned investors yesterday to avoid scams involving companies offering products or services to combat bird flu.

Stock promoters have sent at least one fax claiming a company “has the solution” to prevent the spread of the disease, NASD said in an alert posted yesterday on its Web site (www.nasd.com). The fax urged investors to buy the stock, saying it was “positioned” to leap by 250 percent. Sarah Bohn, an NASD spokeswoman in Washington, declined to identify the company or the promoters.

“This is an age-old pump-and-dump scheme with a brand new disguise,” said John Gannon, NASD vice president of investor education. “Fraudsters are quick to exploit every new crisis or catastrophe to peddle their get-rich-quick scams.”

At least 73 persons have died from avian influenza, with human infections more than doubling this year as the virus spread from Asia to Eastern Europe, probably carried by infected migratory birds.

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