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By Emily Greenhalgh
PBN Web Editor
PROVIDENCE – ICOA Wireless, a Wi-Fi access provider, has been dealing with the backlash of a fake press release announcing its $400 million acquisition by Google.
The announcement, released last week, was published on PRWeb.com from a fake e-mail address and a phone number based in Aruba.
According to news sources, the scheme may have been launched in hopes of boosting ICOA’s penny-stock price as part of a pump-and-dump stock scheme.
When the release was published on PRWeb, news sources including the Associated Press and TechCrunch ran with the announcement, which was plausible enough as Google has been experimenting with offering Wi-Fi in Mountain View, Calif.
AllThingsD – an online publication that specializes in technology and startup company news, analysis and coverage – refuted the story from off-the-record sources at Google which pointed to a lack of contact information and no statement on Google’s press page.