A boiler room is a call center where a group of people make telephone calls to try to persuade strangers to make purchases or to support a political candidate. These telephone calls are "cold calls" because the caller does not know very much about the person being called and the person being called probably does not know much about the topic of the call.
The term became common in the investment industry, where stock brokers are generally expected to know an investor and understand the investor's objectives before giving advice. However, boiler rooms would call strangers and pressure them into buying stocks from the company's inventory, artificially driving up the price of the stock. Once the calls stopped, the stock price would drop quickly. This measure of control over the rise and fall of stock prices has frequently been used by Con-men in order to commit fraud.
- Boiler room. Securities and Exchange Commission (May 25, 2000). Retrieved on Aug 12, 2012.