A new way to collect email addresses to spam?

I’m starting to suspect that spammers try to collect and verify email addresses from PAD files using bogus sites as honeypots.

In fact, lately I’ve received several mails which are all based on the same template:

Hello, my name is John, and I am an associate of
SITEURL

Briefly, here is what we do. We specialize in
software reviews and downloads. While browsing the
web we came across your software and I must say
that we were stunned. We were so amazed by its
outstanding features that we decided to give you
our prestigious 5 stars award and put your
software on our editors choice list. We would be
delighted if you would consider posting it in your
awards section. To find the award please go to
http://SITEURL/adownloadIDOFSOMEKIND.html

If you have time please leave a comment, so that
others can view your remarks.

I would like to take a moment to thank you for
all your devoted work in the software field and
wish you success in your business.

The suspicious points are:

  • all the sites have the same structure
  • they don’t even pretend not to be fake: the search function never works, the content appears only in some pages and never point to valid files, etc…
  • IDOFSOMEKIND could be used just to verify that the mail reached an user that actually reads the mail and clicks on URL’s

Am I paranoid?

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