back to article Yahoo! may! never! see! a! penny! of! $610m! anti-spam! win!

Yahoo! has been awarded a $610 million default judgment against spammers who abusing its brand to run a lottery scam. Marks received email supposedly from Yahoo! telling them they had won a lottery. Funds weren't just handed over at once, of course, instead those hooked via the scam would have been tricked into handing over …

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Silver badge

A good first step

I understand and perfectly approve this judicial decision. Enforcement is, of course, next to impossible, but it is extremely important to at least declare publicly that scams and such are not acceptable.

I now await with great anticipation the judgement that will declare and denounce all the actual software pirating that China and such countries are guilty of.

But I won't be holding my breath. I know that Nigeria, Thailand and others have no share of US debt and bonds, whereas China practically owns the US debt all to itself. And Europe is not far behind.

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A! Victory! For! Common! Sense!

Sounds like a great case - ran since 2008 eh? In all that time not one person ay Yahoo! thought to themselves "hang on, we're going to pay these lawyers and get zero back?!". Sheesh.

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Coat

Take a page from Howard Taylor

The courts need to take a page from Howard Taylor's "Schlock Mercenary" - since we cannot COLLECT the damages, allow use to INFLICT damage equal to the awarded amount, by placing a bounty on the heads of the spammers.

Yahoo could earn quite a bit by subletting the bounty out to other, say, interested parties.

The carbonan jumper with the Strohl Munitions BH-209i in the pocket.

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Go

@David D. Hagood

That's... one hell of a pocket you've got there, if it'll hold one of those.

my pocket merely has a comm unit for calling in the air strikes.

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Advanced Fee Fraud

How is Advanced Fee Fraud different from Basic Fee Fraud?

Or did you mean Advance Fee Fraud?

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Gold badge
Joke

Advanced fee fraud is perpetrated by MCFF[1] accredited technicians.

[1] Microsoft Certified Fee Fraudster.

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FAIL

Yes, because American laws really apply outside the US, don't they?

</sarcasm>

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Getting Setlenent

" The alleged perpetrators of the scam are Nigerian, Thai and Taiwanese, a huge practical obstacle to any seizure or possible criminal proceedings, even assuming the miscreants were sitting on piles of money."

"The judgment is in the US, and the guilty parties are not. Applying the judgment extra-territorially is a significant hurdle for retribution on a practical level,"

Don't American Court rulings have worldwide application now (probably slipped in a recent Free Trade Treaty) so what is the problem? - just use an extradition warrant.

Oh sorry those are only of use if the person is in the UK , they probably don't work for other countries (yet).

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Paris Hilton

Wrong law...

The problem with this argument is that the crime was mostly committed in Nigeria, Thailand and Taiwan - so, any laws that were broken were those of Nigeria, Thailand and Taiwan respectively... not those of the US

This seems like another example of the States trying to export their laws (rather like they tend to with "hackers"). Although I hate these scams as much as the next person, the internet as most of us want it to be relies on not being controlled by one country or faction.

Originally, the individual ISP's were responsible for the behaviour of their users. Clearly that's no longer feasible, but we need to find a way to keep the internet as a confederation of networks (as it was originally) rather than a hierarchical structure ultimately controlled by a single jurisdiction.

Paris, because nobody else is dumb enough to fall for these scams anyway.

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WTF?

4 years

Since the defendants were and are not in country and I assume, since it was not said that they employed local counsel .If these guys could afford lawyers for 4 years where did those assists come from. If not why did it take 4 years????

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Well now that yahoo won can I sue yahoo for the years of trucking such spam to me from their network and ignoring abuse complaints only to see the same ip's abusing their service over and over again?

If yahoo is serious about getting money out of their core role as spam truckers why don't they sue all the dandy non-profits we have that preach to us how important it is to connect the third world to the internet.

We pay either voluntarily or in-voluntarily with tax dollars to connect the third world up because all the do-gooders that think areas of the world with no toilets need to have internet access and this is what we end up with.

Networks taken over by or heck setup by spammers/fraudsters to begin with that run with immunity scamming the same people that made their internet connections possible.

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Flame

Charge a penny per email - and 419 SPAM will end

There's one and only one way to end SPAM as we know it - charge a penny an email. This will not completely eliminate 419 spam (I've gotten BS 419-style letters in the regular Post), but it will make criminals unable to afford to continue sending out spam. No more unscrupulous hosts ignoring spammers. I'm sure you're thinking, well, spammers will just spoof an email sender. If they do that, then the spammer becomes the target of whatever collection agency the email sender hires. After all, money talks. And I would love it if there was a money value for spam that a bounty hunter could collect on.

Until then .... going after spammers with the American legal systme is a waste of time and money. (And trying to keep spam out via filters is also a waste of effort, but that's a gripe for another time.)

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No point whatever

It's not just that they won't get their $6.1e8, but rather that it won't even stop the spam. I've just received exactly this spam this morning. I wonder if the spammers have just sent out a batch of this one to say "up yours" to Yahoo.

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Anonymous Coward

Fortunately, I can help.

I will see to it that Yahoo! gets $610,000,000 (SIXTEEN HUNDRED TEN MILLION US DOLLARS) however there is a necessity to pay certain processing fees to move the money legally from the bank accounts in which it resides. Please reply with personal details and bank information.

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@Fractured Cell

Of course they do. Just take a look at the case of Viktor Bout. None of his alleged crimes were committed, or to be carried out, on US soil. But still:

"He was convicted in November 2011 of conspiracy to kill Americans and US officials, delivering anti-aircraft missiles, and aiding a terrorist organisation.

His trial heard that Bout had been told the weapons would be used to kill US pilots working with Colombian officials."

Furthermore the US case rests on the results of a sting and entrapment operation.

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Silver badge
FAIL

419s in mail...

...usually use counterfeit stamps. Take a closer look and/or complain to your local postal inspector.

This is why the USA blocked all paper mail from Nigeria for a while - sourcing postal countries pay around 1/3 of the face value of stamps to the destination postal country for final delivery. Something like 2/3 of all the mail coming in from Nigeria had fake stamps which Nigeria Post wouldn't pay for.

The Yahoo case is civil. They can now track/trace the sources and apply to courts local to the miscreants for enforcement. 90% of such applications are sucessful, but collection is still problematic.

Personally: I won't be removing my Yahoo email block anytime soon. They may have won a case but the level of inbound traffic to trap addresses remains constant (these are (of course) let through to feed filters.)

If the UK was serious about stopping 419-type scams then Ofcom would take steps to shut down the 070* "personal follow me" services(*) as IME 90% of the are used fraudulently and victims can be charged up to 1.50 per minute to call them. (businesses using 070* is just as fraudulent as a 419er. The service is supposed to be _personal_ numbers. Ditto any entity which claims "this is a mobile phone")

(*) They've floated doing this a few times, with the inevitable outcry from the 2 dozen companies which provide 070* service. Companies which tend to the shady side as a rule.

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