I just heard about McWhortle Enterprises for the first time today.
They describe themselves as:
McWhortle Enterprises is an established and well-known manufacturer of biological defense mechanisms. Fortune 500 companies routinely use McWhortle Defense systems to protect their far-flung executives living in dangerous areas. These discreet, confidential safeguards have for years given employees and their families peace of mind.
In the wake of the anthrax scare, they came out with a biohazard detector.
They’ve got product information and excellent testimonials on the site. But if you really want a piece of their action, you’ll have to invest. Which is nice because they have a handy “invest now” link on their site. Apparently it’s a pretty hot IPO.
Of course, if you do decide to invest for real you’ll end up on a page which says this:
McWhortle Enterprises does not exist. It is a complete fabrication, posted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the North American Securities Administrators Association, and the National Association of Securities Dealers to alert investors to potential on-line frauds.
This site shows some of the telltale signs of on-line investment fraud. Promises of fast and high profits, with little or no risk, are classic red flags of fraud. Remember – if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is! For more information, read the SEC’s brochure, “Internet Fraud: How to Avoid Investment Scams,” or the tip sheet, “Stock Market Fraud: `Survivor’ Check List.” [Italics mine]
The site’s a bit outdated since it went live in 2002 in response to stock fraud–defense stocks in particular.
It’s an interesting idea. Do people just invest like that? Read a few webpages and decide to invest? Or did people only visit the site after hearing about it?
I don’t know. I have to say, the number of people who do fall for scams do sometimes make it tempting. If only I was smarter or well…evil.