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The chances are you've already received some spam email. Spam is, as defined by many, is "Unsolicited Commercial Email".  That is, email of a commercial email, not necessarily sent in bulk to thousands of others, from an organisation with whom you have no prior business relationship.  For example, an email screaming "Fantastic business opportunity!!", "Cheap Mortgages", "YOU HAVE WON!" lottery scams and similar are almost certainly spam, while a message from maplin.co.uk, where you have an account and have shopped with before, containing their current crop of special offers is not spam even if nothing in their advertisement is of interest to you.

For example, while writing the paragraph above I received an email from dabs.com advertising a deal on wide-screen laptops.  While I have no interest in such items, I have shopped with them in the past and I have an account.  This email is then just deleted and nothing more said about it.  On the other hand over the same period of time, my spam bin received a message trying to get me to part with my financial information to get a free credit report from an organisation I'd never heard of, and another one trying to sell me pharmaceuticals to have a more fulfilling weekend.  And those are the ones that made it past the first hurdle of IP blacklisting.

A lot of what is advertised in spam is illegal, and most bordering on fraudulent - intended to defraud you.  How many messages have you received that purport to come from the relative or bank manager of some wealthy individual, usually in Africa who has just passed away, and ask you to assist getting a vast sum of money out of the country?  A fair few, I'd bet. What about lottery tickets attached to your email address that claim you've won more money than most lotteries give away in their entire existence?  There's no money, they're after your bank account details so they can bleed it dry.

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Advice and Tips on Dealing with Spam
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