"Invest In My Startup" Spam Coming to Your Inbox

Thanks to the JOBS Act signed into law this past spring, you don't have to be a Silicon Valley insider to get played by a persuasive Stanford dropout. Now you can legally beg anyone for investment cash, anytime, anywhere. This will be fun for everyone.

Technically, you have to be an "accredited investor" if you want to dump money into ploys like the one seem above (yes, the company is actually called Chasm!) But accreditation enforcement is unproven, and there's never been a time when so many people might be lured (or fooled) into making investments they aren't qualified for. VentureBeat's John Koetsier, who posted the screenshot, isn't an accredited investor—the email still wound up before him, asking with a wink if he can spread the word even if he doesn't want to chip in. It's as easy to share as any AOL chain letter from the 90s, only this one could really screw someone gullible, uninformed, or mislead.

Maybe this is how tech-enabled financial ruin will begin again—not with mismanaged pensions and botched IPOs, but the sentence WE'RE RAISING MONEY AND WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOU ON BOARD crammed into a mass email.