Spam is a term for e-mail sent to a large number of people without their consent. It is also known as Unsolicited Commercial E-mail (UCE) or junk e-mail. It is usually sent to promote a product or service, but can also be used to obtain your private information (bank account #’s, address, etc.) through false website links. Additionally, spam can contain viruses and infect your computer. Spammers (people who spam) follow the traditional direct-marketing ploy of flooding the intended audience with offers, in this case with mail, hoping for a purchase. They don't care about the large number of people they irritate or offend, because for every e-mail message they send out, there are actually a few people who visit their advertised web site or order their product.

Some tips to prevent being spammed are:

  • Don’t carelessly give out your e-mail address.
  • If you don’t know who sent the e-mail; Don’t open it!
  • Don't send spam to other people or sign them up for free offers .
  • Create two e-mail accounts; one for spam and the other for professional mail.
  • If you receive spam that sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Don’t fall for the scam!
  • Check the sites privacy policies before submitting your e-mail address, many sites have some options selected by default (for receiving offers from other vendors)
  • Use e-mail filters to sort and block spam Don't follow ANY links in spam messages they could contain a virus
  • Disable the automatic downloading of graphics /pictures they can link back to an infected website

Spam arrives in many forms and even fools the most cautious person into opening their e-mail. The most common forms of e-mail spam are:

  • Chain letters (sick child, etc.)
  • E-mails claiming to releive debt
  • Check overpayment scams
  • Pay in advance credit offers
  • Pyramid schemes (including Multilevel Marketing, or MLM)
  • Other "Get Rich Quick" or "Make Money Fast" (MMF) schemes (work at home scams, foreign lotteries, etc.)
  • Offers of software for collecting e-mail addresses and sending spam
  • Offers of bulk e-mailing services for sending spam
  • Quack health products and remedies (weight loss products)
  • Illegally pirated software (warez ).
If you are tired of receiving spam, report it to the appropriate authorities and have the spammer's current account closed. It also helps prevent others from being victims by the spammer.

The Federal Trade Commission
Contact the Internet Service Provider (ISP)
Contact Law Enforcement Authorities