Anyone with an email address has inevitably been the unwitting recipient of an email hoax. Internet hoaxes are an unfortunate commonality these days, and they come in an overwhelming number of different forms. There are chain letters, phishing expeditions, internet scams, viruses hoaxes, actual viruses, spyware and forwarded messages full of false hype. Some of these hoaxes are transparent, but others are insidiously elusive and have made victims of intelligent people. Some scams are an attempt to spread viruses, while others are looking to con individuals out of money or personal information. Some hoaxes are simply intended to spread propaganda and misinformation. Here is a listing of several different hoaxes perpetuated through emails, which fit those categories.
Some basic tips for avoiding hoaxes, viruses and scams, is to remain guarded with your email address and skeptical of any unsolicited mail. Be particularly aware of any emails which are urgent, offering money or opportunities, or those which are overly colloquial for an address you don't recognize. Always conduct the appropriate research before responding to any email which carries any nuance of spam or fraud. As with many things in life, in the case of protecting yourself from hoaxes and viruses, diligence is the best defense.