I, like most other people, hate getting spam. More than that I hate getting junk email from FRIENDS!! The chain emails (now that's downright insulting) and all the other odds and ends, pet photos, off color jokes that while well intentioned I just don't have time for. Plus I'm always worried about opening something with a virus so often times I just delete these emails.
Many well meaning people (my dear Dad!!) will forward the "warning" type emails - like about the guy that will approach you in a parking lot telling you he found the $10 bill you dropped and then attack you. Or some that SOUND legit like "don't pump gas on May 15 and it will help lower gas prices".
I forwarded one of these (it was the one about Swiffer making babies and pets sick - I remember it because I was so embarassed that I was duped too!) to a fellow dog owner who forwarded it back to me with the http://www.snopes.com/ report on it and that it was false! I quickly realized how these rumors can be perpetuated so fast and here I was helping (incorrectly) to drag Swiffer's name through the mud. One person tells 5 friends who tell 5 friends, etc and before you know it it's whizzed all over the world via internet.
So now when I get a well meaning email like this (about cell phones, gas boycotts, or rapists lurking out there) I will check http://www.snopes.com/ to see if it's real or not. Most times it is not and I will diplomatically forward the Snopes report to the sender just so they know and will (hopefully) check Snopes first before forwarding those types of emails in the future.
Recently I did find one that actually WAS real. It was about the state of Michigan and the $10K/per day fine they threatened local beavers (yes, beavers, the furry brown creatures) with if they did not remove their dams! If you don't believe me check it out at