Yahoo 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.