A long, long time ago, when I was a wet-behind-the-ears newbie, I committed the cardinal sin of posting to Usenet using my real email address. I am still paying for this today, with my mailbox overflowing with at least 30-40 spam emails every day. I have stopped using this email address for anything important now, but don't want to give it up altogether (it's like your first flame you never really get over). But one good thing is that I am forwarding all these emails to my Yahoo mailbox, which has an excellent spam filter.
If you have the patience, do a Google search for the story of a retiree in the USA who lost all his life savings to the Nigerian email scam. (I have a link for this story, but the link has become stale). Shows you what extent people will go to to believe what they want to believe.