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Yahoo! UK & Ireland has finally come clean and admitted that some of its customers have been targeted by fraudsters.

The Internet giant has taken almost two weeks to respond to allegations of a scam designed to con its users out of £199.

The allegations surfaced last month in a newsletter posted by US-based search engine consultant Jill Whalen of HighRankings.Com after obtaining an email which "appeared to be from Yahoo! UK" advising the recipient that they needed ato pay £199 to have their annual Yahoo! listing review.

But Yahoo! UK has no annual review fee. When she contacted Yahoo! UK she was told the company was looking into the matter.

However, attempts to follow up the story - to verify the substance of the allegations and find out what action has been taken - has so far drawn a blank. Until today.

Finally, after almost a fortnight of calls not being returned, of apologies and promises that someone would be in contact, Yahoo! UK has responded.

In a statement the company said: "Yahoo! UK & Ireland has learned that some of its Yahoo! Express customers recently received a fraudulent e-mail that requests a £199 renewal fee to remain in the Yahoo! Directory. This email is not from Yahoo!. As always, Yahoo! Express in the UK charges a once only, non-refundable processing fee per submission. This has not changed.

"If you have received such an email, please do not respond to it. Instead, please forward it to us at uk-legal@uk.yahoo-inc.com. Yahoo! UK & Ireland
already has reported this attempted fraud to law enforcement agencies and will continue to co-operate closely with them to ensure our users' interests are
protected to the fullest extent possible. In addition, if you already have responded to this email, or have supplied your credit card number to someone at one of the phone numbers that the email supplied, please contact your local law enforcement agency.

"Yahoo! UK & Ireland would like to assure all of our customers that the security and integrity of the Yahoo! system has in no way been compromised and that Yahoo! continues to maintain the highest levels of data security."

However, there are still many unanswered questions.

  • How long has Yahoo! UK been aware of this scam?
  • Why has it taken until now to confirm that the scam is genuine?
  • How many people have fallen victim to this scam?
    Why didn't Yahoo! move sooner to protect the interests of its customers?

We await Yahoo!'s response with interest. ®

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