Opening an e-mail from someone unknown to you will not allow "hackers take over your e-mail account and change your password" as the Fairfield Police erroneously told the public in a recent paranoia-preaching forum.
There is no reason to be paranoid about mistakenly opening a bogus e-mail. The mistake would be in either downloading a virus laden attachment or opening a virus embedded link in an e-mail from a sender unknown or even one known to you. Merely opening an e-mail will not activate a virus or put the integrity of your computer at risk. Most of these bad-boys come into the SPAM folder anyway.
The Department of Justice has put together a very robust cyber-crime unit at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Check out their website under "protections" if you really want to know how to protect yourself from Internet fraud. And if you feel you have been a victim of a cyber crime, you can file a report on-line with The Internet Crime Complaint Center -- "I3C"-- a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. The I3C will refer the complaint to the local police if they think that is appropriate. Most times, I3C will handle the complaint without any local help as most of this fraud originates far beyond our borders.
Many professional and community-service-minded police departments even have the link to I3C right on their webpage for the convenience of local citizens. That cuts down on the bureaucracy, which is something Fairfield sorely needs to do, especially now that budget time is here.
Use your head; don't be greedy; don't be gullible; and fraud will not come your way.