Unfortunately, much of the e-mail that currently travels over the Internet is "spam" (unsolicited commercial or bulk e-mail), which can contain either legitimate or illegitimate content. "Chain mail" is also common; this is mail of dubious value which you are encouraged to pass on to one or more recipients. It is all but inevitable that you will receive some such e-mail, but there are steps you can take to decrease the amount you receive, and IU also has mechanisms in place to reduce junk e-mail.
Harassing e-mail is another issue altogether. If you have explicitly asked a sender not to contact you and the contacts continue, this can be considered harassment, and you should contact the designated authorities for your account. At IU, the Information Policy Office (IPO) handles such issues. If you feel that your safety or property is at risk, you should contact university law enforcement immediately.
Should you need to report an incident, it is important to collect and keep all the information you can with regard to the offending e-mail messages (e.g., times received, any replies you have made). It is also important to understand and use the full headers of the e-mail message(s), since the "From:" line of an e-mail can be forged or "spoofed". For more information, see Information about full headers in e-mail.
Of course it is important that you not become a part of the spam problem by sending mass e-mails or by passing along chain mail. Please see the E-mail policies section for more information about your rights and responsibilities with regard to e-mail usage. See the resources below for more information on countering junk and harassing e-mail: