Scammers, take notice

Yahoo LotteryAs we’ve said before, no one ever wins the Yahoo! Lottery. And that’s simply because there is no Yahoo! Lottery. To protect you from these scammers, we’re going after them ourselves.

We recently filed a lawsuit that ought to send an unmistakable message to spammers masquerading as Yahoo! lottery commissioners, sending emails to unsuspecting users about having won a mythical jackpot. And in order to claim that jackpot, these “lucky” users simply need to hand over personal data like passwords, credit card information, and social security numbers. Some “winners” are even duped into sending money for processing and mailing charges.

We won’t tolerate these hoax emails or having our brand used to deceive you, and we're seeking maximum damages permissible by law. This lawsuit (one of nearly ten suits to date) is part of a multi-faceted approach we’ve been taking to combat spam by supporting anti-spam legislation, creating technologies like DomainKeys, collaborating with industry leaders, and increasing consumer awareness. Consider this: every day, we block more than one billion spam and phishing messages — that's more that four times the number of first class letters the US Postal Service delivers each day.

Besides what we’re doing on our end, here are some of the things you can do to protect yourself:

  • Protect your email address like your phone number: Give it out selectively and only to people you trust. Don’t post it in public places like message boards or chat rooms. And try disposable email addresses (like our AddressGuard) for things like shopping or selling things online.
  • Just say no to junk mail: Report unsolicited email by clicking on the spam button in the toolbar at the top of your inbox or message. This reports the contents so that Yahoo! Mail or your service provider can take appropriate action and potentially block them from reaching your inbox in the future.
  • If it’s too good to be true, it probably is: Don’t be fooled by cash prizes or that prince who needs your help smuggling millions of dollars out of his country. They’re scams. Don’t reply, don’t click, and don’t give away any personal information.
  • That’s no warning: See a pop-up ad with a warning about your computer? Or have an email from a “computer expert” warning you of a virus? They’re usually hoaxes from unscrupulous folks. Ignore them and don’t follow any steps described unless you’re sure the threat is real.
  • Create a sign-in seal: Sign-in seals are a new safeguard offered by Yahoo! and many financial institutions to help protect your login. A sign-in seal is a secret message or image that you create so you can be sure you’re logging into your account and not a phishing site. To create your seal, go to any sign-in page across Yahoo! and look for the box with keys above your login.

You can find more tips on our anti-spam resource site. It’s a jungle out there, but there are plenty of ways to defend your inbox. Plus we’ve got your back.

Mark Risher
Anti-Spam Czar, Yahoo! Mail