Yahoo Inc. has filed a lawsuit against an unknown group of defendants it alleges tricked consumers into thinking they won a lottery or prize offered by the Internet company.
Yahoo filed the suit May 16 in U.S. District Court in New York under federal trademark law, federal anti-spam law and other state laws.
In its court filing, Yahoo contends that the defendants masqueraded as the Internet company, sending out e-mails telling recipients they had won prizes ranging from a few thousand to a million dollars and instructing them to click on a link or forward personal information to a "lottery coordinator" to get their prize.
Yahoo, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., noted in the filing that it did not offer any such prizes and had no connection with the group or the e-mails it sent.
Such "phishing" scams are meant to trick consumers into sharing financial information and other personal details.
Although the defendants' identities are unknown, Yahoo believes that information acquired during a discovery period from third-party e-mail service companies will lead to the their identification.