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V3 reporter Shaun Nichols

Yahoo Hits $610 Million Jackpot in Lottery Scam Case

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Yahoo LogoYahoo has claimed victory in a $610 million 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 $583 million in damages from violations of the CAN-SPAM Act, as well as $27 million 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 if 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 U.S. email provider."

Passed in 2003, the U.S. 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 to claim a number of landmark decisions against spammers, including a 2009 ruling that saw Facebook claim a record $837m payout for a password-harvesting scheme.

This article was originally published on V3.


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