Jack West turned into an overnight internet legend after getting major news outlets to publish a fake story about him. Among them was the New York Post, which carried the story about him taking a mortgage on his parents' house to buy 70k worth of Gamestop stock.
The 22-year-old had at first shared a joke on Twitter claiming to have taken a second mortgage on his parent's home while they were at work. Apparently, he did this to buy more stock.
Here is the Tweet:
The confident claim might fool you into thinking that this actually happened. However, the truth is that a 22-year-old can't process a second mortgage on his parent's home without them knowing about it.
He would at least need one of their signatures, for starters, and it's pretty clear Jack didn't have that authority based on this tweet.
Unfortunately, in an attempt to make sure she was the first to break the story, Mary K Jacob from the NY Post quickly got in touch with the young man. She wanted help preparing a story around his claims.
Here is the Tweet she sent the boy:
Immediately, Jack saw an opportunity to become an internet sensation. So, he played along as though his claims were true.
In the end, the New York Post as well as a host of other websites published the completely fake story.
After seeing the results of his crazy handiwork, Jack took to Twitter to celebrate his achievement.
Obviously, as soon as the websites realized they had published a fake story, they took down the release. Unfortunately, the internet does not forget that easily.
Mary K Jacob Learned Her Lesson
This must have been a humiliating career setback for Mary K Jacob.
She seemed to handle the incident positively by admitting to getting duped on social media. Later she deleted the Tweet:
"Okay guys. Yes I got played. BIG TIME. Lesson learned. @JackoWest_3 thanks for the wake up call."
However, this story helps highlight the real issues facing traders. Typically, we have a problem with people who disrupt trading so that hedge fund millionaires don't lose money, even though that means that the little guys stop making money.
As we speak, Robinhood is facing a class-action lawsuit for restricting the purchase of stocks that were featured in the Reddit forum that got it started in the first place.
Without a doubt, many other lawsuits will be facing the investment app.
As for Jack, this was a rare and disreputable opportunity to become famous, and it might help us understand that not every story you read on major news outlets is a complete truth. In other words, unreliable news sources do exist.