Yahoo Goes After Copycat Spammers

    May 27, 2008

Phishing emails occasionally make it through spam filters, and sometimes, they even look genuine.  So Yahoo is trying to protect the recipients (and its own reputation) by suing "Yahoo! Lottery Spammers" who use its name in hoaxes.

The company filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in New York City, according to a statement.  Yahoo cited the Federal Trademark Act, the Federal CAN-SPAM Act, and several state laws as being on its side.

Yahoo Spam
 Yahoo Mail Spam Protection

John Kremer, the vice president of Yahoo Mail, also said, "Yahoo! is 100% committed to protecting our users from fraudulent e-mail messages and this lawsuit sends a clear message to spammers.  We are going after individuals who have attempted to negatively impact the e-mail experience for consumers across the Internet.  Through our continued litigation efforts, our top goal and priority is to further protect Yahoo! Mail users and the public from this type of fraudulent activity."

A legal victory may not, in a practical sense, close the case – we’ve seen spammers survive big fines before.  This development at least falls into the "nice thought" category, though.

As a related gesture, Yahoo’s offering anti-spam tips through a Yahoo Mail site.  And here’s a word to the wise: official Yahoo communications will always include exclamation points after the company’s name.  Even CEO Jerry Yang, who doesn’t capitalize anything, follows this rule, whereas spammers (and lazy writers) often don’t.