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What is poop and scoop?

In today’s highly interconnected world of instant information sharing, financial scams are spreading faster than we can stamp them out. You may have heard whispers of the latest concerning trend called “poop and scoop” schemes. As the name suggests, these schemes aim to unfairly manipulate stock prices and take advantage of regular retail investors

So, how exactly does a poop-and-scoop scam operate? And more importantly, what can we do to prevent these schemes from duping unsuspecting traders and protect the integrity of our financial markets? 

This article will discuss the poop and scoop schemes, their potentially disastrous impacts, and actionable solutions to curb their occurrence. Read on to gain insight into this financial scam and equip yourself against possible tricks.

Defining poop and scoop

Poop and scoop is a type of securities fraud whereby a group of informed traders band together to artificially sink a stock’s price through false information (the “poop”), allowing them to purchase a large position at deflated costs. They then profit handsomely when the misinformation is disproved, positive news breaks, or simple buying demand brings prices back up (the “scoop”).

How does poop and scoop work?

In a typical poop and scoop scheme:


  • A conspiracy of traders targeting a specific company and stock they can easily manipulate 
  • They spread convincing-sounding lies, rumours, or poor press about the target firm
  • This seeds uncertainty and panic, prompting many investors to sell their shares
  • With prices driven down sharply, the cabal buys up stock at temporarily depressed prices
  • When the smoke clears and their false information is revealed, share prices rebound
  • Allowing the schemers to sell the shares they bought on the cheap for windfall profits

Basically, there are some shady people out there who are using a sneaky trick called “poop and scoop” to scare regular investors into selling their good stocks for less than they’re really worth. 

These schemers can then buy those stocks at a low price and sell them for a higher price, making a big profit. It is not fair, and it’s not honest, because they’re manipulating the prices of these stocks and not paying attention to how they’re really doing in the market.

The rise of poop and scoop in the digital age 

While dishonest stock manipulation is nothing new on Wall Street, poop and scoop schemes have found an ideal environment to increase rapidly in the internet age. The rise of online trading forums, social media platforms, fintech apps, and commission-free brokers have all increased retail investments. However, these same trends also aid those seeking to exploit less informed traders.

Specifically, it has always been challenging for a small group of savvy traders to coordinate misinformation campaigns. With a few posts on Reddit or tweets from fake accounts, they can instantly share lies and half-truths with thousands of investors. The internet’s democratisation of information sharing has brought positives and negatives, and poop and scoop show the dark side of this shift.

Warning signs to recognise poop and scoop schemes  

While regulators work to improve transparency and outlaw abusive tactics, investors should remain alert for common red flags associated with poop and scoop manipulation:

  • Sudden Changes in Sentiment: If perception around a company inexplicably shifts negative without substantive reasons, manipulators may be strategically spreading misinformation.  
  • Spikes in Volatility and Trading Volume: Manipulative activity stirring up panic selling can dramatically increase price swings and transactions in a short window around when misinformation emerges.
  • Rapid Price Reversals: Once manipulators finish acquiring positions, allowing accurate data to surface can swiftly correct unjustified price drops. Sudden vaults higher after Manipulative activity stirring up panic selling can dramatically increase price swings and transactions in a short window around when misinformation emerges. 
  • Rapid Price Reversals: Once manipulators finish acquiring positions, allowing accurate data to surface can swiftly correct unjustified price drops. Sudden vaults higher after irrational downswings signal manipulation may have occurred.

These patterns can indicate that investors were misled deliberately rather than stocks moving from normal buying and selling by a diversity of participants.

Poop and scoop’s devastating impacts

When people try to manipulate the stock market, it can hurt regular people who invest their money. This can make people feel less confident about investing and cause big changes in the stock market that can make it hard to predict what will happen next. It is like a game where some people cheat and end up taking money from others who are playing fairly. And their occurrence appears concerningly common: 

  • Over 10% of finance leaders in one survey admit witnessing poop and scoop schemes firsthand
  • Billions in value and retirement savings can be erased in hours by these predatory short attacks  
  • Even quality companies can see their stock unfairly targeted if they show weakness ripe for exploit

Beyond the direct financial damage, poop and scoop schemes also penalise honest research. Investors are rightfully more skeptical whenever reports or comments highlight weaknesses in a firm. This benefits those companies with things to hide and hurts transparency efforts.

Poop and scoop also lower trust in fair markets overall. Retail traders, in particular, may see manipulated dips and recoveries as confirmation the cards are stacked against them systemically. This drives them away from participating and raises calls for punitive regulation.

And poop and scoop example for traders gloating about easy profits from deceiving “dumb money” investors add insult to injury. This apparent brazenness shows a troubling shift in norms and ethics on the Street.

Protecting our markets from manipulation

We need to find ways to protect investors and prevent dishonest practices in the financial market. This can only be achieved if everyone – individuals, regulators, financial media, and tech platforms work together and collaborate:

What investors can do:

  • Verify information before acting – check sources and credibility 
  • Understand poop attempts often pass quickly if no real issue exists
  • Avoid panic selling into sudden, unexplained declines
  • Use limit buy orders to capitalise on overshoot dips

What regulators must do:  

  • Boost transparency rules around short selling and options trading 
  • Proactively identify coordinated manipulation attempts faster  
  • Punish perpetrators harshly once uncovered to deter imitation 

What media outlets should do:

  • Highlight manipulation risks to retail traders
  • Rapidly disseminate data disproving false claims
  • Call out likely poop attempts for readers  

What tech platforms need to address:  

  • Detect and delete clearly bogus accounts spreading lies
  • Make sharing and verification of identities easier  
  • Alert users to potential scams and misinformation  

With vigilance and cooperation, we can mitigate the worst of these schemes. But the incentives and tools enabling poop will remain unless all stakeholders contribute to raising integrity and transparency. We owe it to retail investors and confidence in markets to take action.  


While financial headlines move fast, we cannot excuse stock manipulation that unfairly games the system by deceiving regular investors. Poop and scoop schemes will likely always exist in some form, as information asymmetry and greed create motives too strong.  

However, the scale and coordination technology poses real risks now if unchecked. It is only through awareness, protection, enforcement, and cooperation that we can curb these predatory practices from becoming the new norm. So next time you hear chatter around the water cooler about unethical tricks shaking confidence in markets, remember you can personally help reduce misinformation. We all have a role to play in securing market fairness against poop and scoop.


What are the main goals of “poop and scoop” manipulators?

They aim to artificially lower a stock’s price by spreading false information to spark panic selling. This allows them to acquire shares cheaply. Then, they spread accurate data so prices rebound, locking in profits.

How do poop and scoop schemers initially drive down prices?

They deliberately spread flawed negative information about target companies to create fear or uncertainty that tricks regular investors into aggressively selling shares. This temporarily tanks the stock price.

When do poop and scoop manipulators purchase shares?

After their spreading of misinformation succeeds in suppressing the target stock’s price through increased panic selling, the schemers start accumulating positions while prices remain depressed.

What indicates the manipulation may be occurring in a stock?

Warning signs involve sudden negative sentiment shifts without reasons, spikes in volatility and volume, and big price swings as panic selling emerges, then reverses as accurate data resurfaces.

Why is poop and scoop illegal market manipulation?

By deceiving average investors to profit off price changes unfairly, they engineer through intentional false information sharing, poop, and scoop violates securities laws against abusive, fraudulent market practices.

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