Never, ever, ever -- ever -- respond to an e-mail about some purported moneymaking scheme. Never send money overseas to someone you don't personally know. Never assume that just because the bank said that a check has cleared that means that it has actually "cleared" in the sense that it's not forged and the bank won't come back to you for the money. Never do any of the above, much less all of them.
Ignore the above at your half-million dollar peril.
Good advice heading into the weekend, I figure. Going to need some savings to pay those credit card bills in January.