Beyond the Boiler Room

In the world of global financial markets knowledge is power, and what happens when those with knowledge and without morals meet those with morals and without knowledge? The term 'boiler room' basically refers to an outbound call centre that makes many cold calls to try and push dodgy investments. The salesmen in the boiler room operations will typically use high pressure and dishonest sales tactics to push their ideas - which are often either pump and dump scams, penny stocks, private placements, or outright stock fraud. This documentary investigates one instance of a boiler room operation set up in Bangkok and run by young western expats. While decreasingly common in an age where information on the markets is easier to come by this practice still goes on, and investors need to be aware of it... if someone calls you out of the blue offering you investments, most of the time your best move is to hang up!

In July 2001, an international police squad burst into a bustling Bangkok office and arrested 80 young Western expatriates. Those arrested had allegedly been part of an illegal broking operation in which they "cold called" potential investors with lures of fast money from glamour stocks. It was a classic example of what's known as a "boiler room". We piece together the Bangkok episode and follow the money trail to discover how the global economy can produce fraud on a global scale.

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