Pfizer gets pranked with fake press release


FORTUNE: The pharmaceutical giant got pranked Thursday by a press release stating the company would no longer increase drug prices.

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Alas, the announcement, as well as a website it linked to pfizerinternational.com, turned out to be fake. Pfizer denied association with the “anonymously issued” press release and website in its own statement a few hours later, saying “it was erroneously attributed to Pfizer and should be disregarded.” Both the website and the false release have apparently since been removed, and Pfizer said it was investigating the incident and could pursue legal action.

It wasn’t clear whether the perpetrators of the prank were trying to manipulate Pfizer’s stock price, or merely playing a trick on the company, perhaps to celebrate April Fool’s Day. The scheme was reminiscent of recent stock manipulation scams where fraudsters filed bogus SEC filings about Warren Buffett’s stock purchases and takeover offers in an attempt to pump up stock prices for their own gain.

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