SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO), the premier digital media company, today announced it has been awarded a $610 million default judgment against spammers responsible for a fake Yahoo! lottery email scheme. In the scheme, email messages were unlawfully sent to Internet users with the intent of deceiving them into believing they had won a lottery prize offered by Yahoo!. The order was handed down by a federal district court judge in New York on Monday, December 5, 2011.
The order in Yahoo!’s favor was the culmination of a multi-year lawsuit that began in 2008. The judge found the defaulting defendants jointly and severally liable as participants in a conspiracy under New York common law. The $610 million judgment was comprised of a statutory damages award for trademark infringement in the amount of $27 million and a statutory damages award for violation of the CAN-SPAM Act in the amount of $583 million. Yahoo! was also awarded attorneys’ fees.
This type of lottery scam is a hoax designed to trick unsuspecting email users into revealing valuable personal data such as passwords, credit card information, and social security numbers. The perpetrators typically use the stolen information to access recipients' bank accounts and credit cards, to apply for unauthorized credit cards or loans, or to fraudulently create documents bearing the victims' personal identification and then use or sell it in a wide variety of credit and identity scams. Some of the "winners" are also deceived into sending the defendants money for processing and mailing charges.
“Yahoo! takes the protection if its users and its brand very seriously,” said Christian Dowell, legal director, Global Brand Protection. “Our ultimate goal is to ensure that users continue to trust Yahoo! as the leading U.S. email provider.”
Yahoo! maintains an ongoing strategy to fight spam and phishing scams on the Internet. Tips and information about its multi-faceted approach can be found at http://antispam.yahoo.com/.
Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) is the premier digital media company, creating deeply personal digital experiences that keep more than half a billion people connected to what matters most to them, across devices and around the globe. And Yahoo!’s unique combination of Science + Art + Scale connects advertisers to the consumers who build their businesses. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. For more information, visit the pressroom (pressroom.yahoo.com) or the company’s blog, Yodel Anecdotal (yodel.yahoo.com).
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