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Yahoo Wins $610M Suit Against Lottery Spammers

  |  December 8, 2011   |  Comments

Emails purported to be from Yahoo offices.

Yahoo has claimed victory in a $610m lawsuit against a group of individuals it accused of operating a massive spam and fraud campaign.

A U.S. district court in New York issued a ruling in favor of the company, ordering the defendants to pay $583m in damages stemming from violations of the Can-Spam Act, as well as $27m in damages for trademark infringement.

The company alleges the defendants spammed users with emails purporting to be from Yahoo offices. The emails claimed that users had won a "Yahoo lottery" prize and asked for personal and financial information.

Such lottery scams are a common tactic cyber criminals use to harvest personal data on users and gain access to bank accounts.

"Yahoo takes the protection of its users and brand very seriously," said Yahoo global brand protection legal director Christian Dowell.

"Our ultimate goal is to ensure that users continue to trust Yahoo as the leading US email provider."

Passed in 2003, the Can-Spam Act allows companies to seek penalties of up to $16,000 for each piece of junk mail reported.

The law has been used by service providers in a number of landmark cases against spammers, including a 2009 ruling that saw Facebook win a record $837m payout for a password-harvesting scheme.

This article was originally published on V3.


Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for V3.co.uk. He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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