Yahoo users hit with e-mail scam

Users of Yahoo Inc.'s paid services were targeted by scam artists trying to gain access to their personal information, including credit card numbers.

In a statement e-mailed to Computerworld Friday, a spokeswoman for the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Internet portal said that an individual or individuals posing as part of Yahoo had sent e-mails to users in an effort to trick them into disclosing their online account information.

The spokeswoman said Yahoo "takes all reports of fraud by third parties very seriously" and has alerted its users to the scam.

Although the spokeswoman couldn't provide further details, according to published reports, less than 24 hours elapsed between the time the bogus e-mail was sent and the time Yahoo sent out its own mass e-mail to its users yesterday morning advising them not to respond to the phony request.

It wasn't immediately clear what the fraudulent e-mail to customers said.

A Yahoo spokeswoman said yesterday that some users fell for the request and divulged their credit card numbers, although most did not.

Yahoo also said it didn't know the origin of the fraudulent e-mail.

Last month, online payment service PayPal Inc. was also targeted by scam artists trying to get the personal information of its users. However, unlike Yahoo, PayPal didn't notify its customers of the scam.

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Linda Rosencrance

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