If you have a telephone/cell phone, a computer and/or an email account you likely receive many spam messages, some which could be characterized as scams; designed to defraud you of money or to steal your critical personal information (such as name, address, social security number, bank account numbers, etc.). Some of the more common scams are the Nigerian money scams, personal information phishing scams, the grandparent scam, etc.
The best advice you can follow is that if it seems "too good to be true" then it probably isn't true. Let's face it, people you do not know don't generally just give you free money, especially initiated by a random email or letter that you receive. Additionally, if someone is out to get you, you would probably be aware of it in some way other than from an anonymous email.
There are several internet sites like snopes.com or hoaxbusters.com that allow you to search for internet and email hoaxes by subject or using words or phrases from your particular email. These sites help inform the public by exposing the most common email and internet hoaxes. Many of these hoaxes or attempts to defraud are almost impossible for police to investigate and/or prosecute because those committing the hoax or fraud are in countries that do not cooperate on such matters with our government.
Of course if you are not sure if what to do you should contact your local police and/or report the incident to the IC3, the federal government's Internet Crime Complaint Center. IC3 works closely with police departments throughout the world, including the Chesterfield Police Department.
For information on some of the more common scams click below
Don't Be a Victim Series:
The Grandparent Scam
Fake Government Agency Scam