Because I know someone that's a computer security nut, I started running my e-mail through Mailwasher. That way, I can kill the spam before it even gets near my hard drive. Usually you can tell when it's That Kind of e-mail: the subject line looks a bit off, the return address is completely unknown, etc..
Today I got an e-mail from an unknown, with the subject header "Old Friendships". That's the giveaway for Lonely Susie, just looking for a few people to meet/check out her webcam, right? So, it gets the big Delete. Except... this time I peaked at the message. Don't know why I did, but I did. And - big surprise - it wasn't spam! It was from someone I'd been friends with decades ago, in 4-7 grade.
How do I know it's real? She remembered the street on which I lived, the small town we lived in, and (not easily available on the web) my Dreaded Middle Name.
I'd love to say it's taught me a lesson about being more trusting about e-mail, or the amount of information out there on the web. I can't, but I can say that sometimes - just sometimes - it's a good thing all this exists!