Rabu, 07 Desember 2011

Yahoo wins $610 million from lottery scammers

NEW YORK -- Congratulations, you've won millions in a
lottery that you didn't enter! Just wire us
some money first to cover fees, and
we'll send you your winnings!

These fake lottery email scams have
become ubiquitous, with scammers
sometimes posing as well-known
companies to boost their credibility. In
2008, Yahoo sued several "John Does"
for using its name and logo as part of a scam.

On Monday, a federal judge awarded
Yahoo ( , Fortune 500) $610 million in damages from the Thai and
Nigerian scammers that the company
was eventually able to identify through
Internet records.

Yahoo's complaint reveals that between December 2006 and May 2009, more
than 11.6 million hoax lottery emails
were sent through its email system. The
court awarded Yahoo $50 per scam
email, a total of $583 million, for its victimization through violations of the
Can-Spam Act. The remaining $27 million is an award for trademark infringement.

Yahoo was
also awarded attorneys' fees. Yahoo could use the cash: The court's
total award is about half of the $1.2
billion profit that Yahoo netted for 2010. But Yahoo stands little chance of actually

None of the defendants -- a
group of Thai and Nigerian individuals, a
Nigerian corporation, and a Taiwanese
corporation -- have responded to
Yahoo's complaint. Nigeria is a famous haven for e-mail scammers. The New York district court judge, Laura
Taylor Swain, noted in her ruling that

"apart from minor variations in phrasing
and style, the [individual] emails [in the
scam] are strikingly similar." Swain concluded that the "circumstantial
evidence is sufficient to support the
reasonable inference that defendants
are co-conspirators."(cnn.com)

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