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Report of $400 Million Google Acquisition a Fake

On its web site PRWeb.com attributed the “fraudulent” press release to “identity theft”

A short ungrammatical misspelled press release put out on PRWeb Monday morning and jumped on by the AP and TechCrunch because it claimed that Google had paid $400 million for Rhode Island-based public hotspot provider ICOA proved to be a hoax.

The company's pink sheets stock sells for under a penny, almost nothing in fact, and only moved from $0.0001 to $0.0005 on the fake news. Around 500 million shares traded, including a swat of 330 million shares, worth around $225,000, sold by somebody.

ICOA's daily volume is usually around 2.6 million shares.

ICOA said it's notified the SEC. It thinks the bogus press release and probable pump-and-sump scheme originated from Aruba.

On its web site PRWeb.com attributed the "fraudulent" press release to "identity theft" that happens "on occasion, across all of the major wire services." It also said the matter has been turned over to the proper authorities for further investigation.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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