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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 August, 2003, 06:24 GMT 07:24 UK
Amazon sues over spoof e-mailers
Online retailer Amazon has sued 11 firms which falsely used its name to sell products as diverse as growth hormones and penis-enlargement therapies.

The lawsuits, filed in the US and Canada, are the latest crackdown against fraudulent e-mail marketing, a rapidly-growing business.

"Spoofers" pose as legitimate online major corporations by creating e-mail accounts that closely mimic major corporations.

Internet firms Yahoo and eBay, and banking giant Citibank have recently been hit by spoof e-mailers.

Slamming spam

Amazon has made some progress in dealing with spoofers.

In one case, the New York Attorney General's office worked with Amazon to reach a settlement with Cyebye.com, owned by a Brooklyn-based home appliance retailer.

Cyebye.com agreed to pay damages, keep records of future commercial e-mails and stop using other companies' names in its marketing without permission.

Companies have been beefing up their response to spoof e-mails in recent months.

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is offering to help federal investigators and law enforcers in a new scheme, known as "Operation Slam Spam", set to begin next month.

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