Spam is illegal: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) outlawed spam in the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 (CAN-SPAM Act) and has established strict protocols for the commercial use of bulk email. Most Internet service providers are working hard to protect their users from spam, but there are things you can do to reduce the amount of spam (malicious or otherwise) that you receive.
The very best way to prevent spam from arriving in the first place is to protect your email address. Only provide your address to people you know and trust. Placing your email address on everyday locations like a news group or bulletin board, or forwarding jokes, stories, and chain letters, all provide ample opportunities for spammers to retrieve addresses. Consider using a "disposable" email address for all of your online activity, which can forward your mail to your "real" email address but has many features which filter and eliminate the spam from getting through.
Another way to avoid spam altogether is to ignore it. By responding to these messages, marketers may realize that yours is a "live" email account and this may result in even larger amounts of spam. Contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP), as most offer filtering functions and may also be able to shield you from receiving offers from a particular source, especially if you find them offensive.
Most Internet service providers have a "report spam" option built into their email accounts. Typically once you have reported spam, all future messages from that email address will go into a spam folder which you can either ignore or delete.
To forward unwanted or deceptive spam to the FTC send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and be sure to include the full email header.
If you think you have been taken advantage of by a spam scam, file a complaint with the FTC online at www.ftc.gov. Complaints will help the FTC find and stop those who are using spam to defraud consumers.