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Yahoo Sues Lottery Spammers

Yahoo Inc., on May 16, 2008, filed a suit against an Internet firm in the US District Court in New York City under the federal anti-spam act, the federal trademark act, and various state laws. Yahoo alleged that the defendants, a group of unknown individuals, tricked people into believing they triumphed over a lottery game and are winners of a huge prize.

While filing the lawsuit, Yahoo said that the defendants, posed as an Internet company, sent out fraudulent e-mails telling recipients they have won lottery prizes between thousands and one million dollar. The e-mails instructed that in order to obtain their prize money, the recipients need to click a link to forward private information like passwords, Social Security number, and credit card details to a "Yahoo lottery coordinator".

This type of stolen information normally enables the fraudsters to access the bank accounts of their victims and withdraw money illegally. It also enables them to create fake credit cards again to withdraw funds.

In some instances, recipients were asked to get in touch with another party for their prize money but this new party then demanded hundreds of dollars supposedly to meet the processing and mailing charges.

Meanwhile, Yahoo declared in the court filing that it never offers any prize of such kind and in the current case has no association with the party or the messages it sent. Yahoo noted these are phishing scams that tricked users into divulging their financial information.

Albeit the identities of the defendants are not known, Yahoo believes that the information acquired from third-party companies on e-mail services would help in the identification.

Senior Vice President Joe Siino, of Yahoo Global Business Strategy and Intellectual Property said that this non-permissible use of Yahoo's trademark is misleading, dishonest, and confused and cheated the public. Associated Press published Siino's statement on May 27, 2008.

Besides, as users increasingly link with Yahoo's e-mail service, they get exposed to various spammers. Incidentally, a recent Yahoo lawsuit led a notorious spammer and his accomplice to pay MySapce about $230 Million in damages in the biggest ever judgment against spam.

Related article: Yahoo Gets “Yam”med by a Worm

» SPAMfighter News - 06-06-2008

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