A few days ago I got the freakiest email.
I have been a fan of your website for sometime. Like you I am a Cambridge mathematician, and I can sympathize with some of things you have had to write. I know some of the people you have written about (although I have not discussed you with them). I am visiting Nottingham University this Wednesday [13th February] with my daughter who is thinking of taking up an offer to go there. If possible I would like to meet you. You can contact me on this e-mail, or phone 0**** ****** (if you get the voicemail, please leave a message).
P.S. Please don't write about this on your websites, MySpace, blogs etc.
This reads like spam, does it not? "I am a fan of your website! I know some people you also know! Let's meet up in your city of residence! But don't tell anybody we're meeting up." Spam. Nigerian mail scammer type language and wording. Scam, maybe, as opposed to spam. But this person drops several personal details about me which indicates that they have, in fact, been reading my website for some time. So, what? A genuine, serious effort to make off with some of my internal organs? No actual names of anybody I know? Absolutely no means of verification? Is it or is it not weird for me to have been targeted in such a way?
It could be fractionally legit. That's why I obliterated the phone number and the name (which gave no clue as to gender). But, to paraphrase my reply, suspicious as all hell! If updates on Things Of Interest ever cease entirely for like a year, and I stop responding to email, I've probably been abducted off the street by this person, okay?