Newsletters
Technology, Discovery & Innovation NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Computing Digital Life Discovery Space More Topics...
Digital Life
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Scammer Faked News of Google Buying ICOA for $400M
Scammer Faked News of Google Buying ICOA for $400M

By Jennifer LeClaire
November 26, 2012 12:08PM

Bookmark and Share
"We are investigating the source, so far it originated from Aruba," said ICOA CEO George Strouthopoulos of the hoax about Google buying his company. "This is not true. Never had any discussions with any potential acquirers! This is absolutely false! Someone, I guess a stock promoter with a dubious interest, is disseminating wrong, false and misleading info."
 


Stock in wireless hotspot provider ICOA quintupled when news reports began circulating Monday morning that Google had acquired it for $400 million. The only problem was the report was a hoax.

A Google spokesperson told us the company had not acquired ICOA for any amount and ICOA's chairman and CEO also told us directly that news of the acquisition was "absolutely false."

PR Web, a widely used press-release distribution service, had distributed a release announcing the acquisition. A representative at PR Web could not immediately be reached for comment, although a recorded message instructs callers to contact companies mentioned in press releases about any questions related to a release.

A Flurry of Reports

Based on the hoax press release, news media quickly began reporting the acquisition as fact. ZDNet was among the first to report the story. Forbes also reported on the "acquisition" and GigaOM offered reasons why Google would acquire the company. The Associated Press moved a story, then later retracted it.

PC Magazine offered a statement from Google taken from the news release, reporting "Google said it made the acquisition to 'further diversify its already impressive portfolio of companies.' The Web giant did not elaborate about its motivation for the deal."

ICOA, a penny stock trading over the counter, spiked to quintuple its value, trading at 5 cents a share before the acquisition was denied.

The Truth Comes Out

George Strouthopoulos, chairman and CEO of ICOA, told us the press release was a hoax.

"We are investigating the source, so far it originated from Aruba," Strouthopoulos said. "This is not true. Never had any discussions with any potential acquirers! This is absolutely false!"

"Someone, I guess a stock promoter with a dubious interest, is disseminating wrong, false and misleading info in the PR circles. ICOA will report this to the proper authorities."

Who Is ICOA?

ICOA, Inc. (www.icoacorp.com) is based in Warwick, Rhode Island. The company's website says that as of 2006, it owned or operated broadband access installations in high-traffic locations like airports and hotels across 45 states, also providing back-office solutions for hotspot operators and wireless service providers.

However, the most recent press release on ICOA's site was from December 2010, indicating the company has not been very active in recent years, at least on the PR front. Thus, it's rather ironic that a bogus press release would put the company at the top of today's tech and business news.

Questions still remain at this hour as to who issued the phony news release and whether it was done intentionally to manipulate the near-zero price of the company's stock.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



UCS Invicta: Integrated Flash Why wait for the future? Unlock the potential of your applications and create new business opportunities today with UCS Invicta Series Solid State Systems. Take advantage of the power of flash technology. See how it can help accelerate IT, eliminate data center bottlenecks, and deliver the peak application performance and predictability your users demand. Click here to learn more.


 Digital Life
1.   Facebook Outage Puts Users in Tizzy
2.   Android Hits 85% Market Share
3.   Microsoft Ruling Raises Privacy Concern
4.   Apple's Content Delivery Network Live
5.   Gov't User Data Requests Skyrocket


advertisement
New App To Manage Time Better
Helping to organize your busy life.
Average Rating:
Android 'Fake ID' Puts Millions at Risk
Users: stick to apps from Google Play.
Average Rating:
OkCupid Experiments with Daters
Unethical without user consent?
Average Rating:


advertisement
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Ruling Against Microsoft Raises E-Mail Privacy Concern
Microsoft has been ordered to hand over e-mails to law enforcers in the United States as part of a criminal investigation, even though the e-mail is stored at a data center in Dublin,Ireland.
 
Twitter Buys Password Manager Startup Mitro
Following on the heels of another acquisition earlier this week, Twitter is adding to its fold a password-manager security startup called Mitro, which in turn is releasing its code as open source.
 
Government Requests for Customer Data Skyrocket
Requests for customer data from the government jumped 50 percent in the first half of 2014, according to Twitter, which received more than 2,000 requests for user info from gov't agencies.
 

Navigation
Sci-Tech Today
Home/Top News | Computing | Digital Life | Discovery | Space | Innovation | Health | Science News
Environment
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.