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Yahoo sues over lottery phishing scam

Internet company files suit in New York against unnamed "lottery spammers" who tried to fraudulently obtain sensitive data from Yahoo Mail users, it says.

Yahoo has filed suit against unnamed "lottery spammers" who tried to fool people into thinking that they won a prize from Yahoo so they'd share passwords, credit card numbers, or other sensitive information.

The Internet company on Tuesday said it filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, citing the Federal Trademark Act, the Can-Spam Act, and related state laws.

"The unauthorized use of Yahoo's trademarks is misleading, fraudulent, and has actually confused, misled, and deceived the public," Joe Siino, Yahoo's senior vice president for global intellectual property and business strategy, said in a statement.

According to Barracuda Networks, 90 percent to 95 percent of e-mail sent in 2007 was spam. Phishing, one activity associated with spam, involves sending e-mail masquerading as authentic messages designed to fool users into parting with personal information.