Is this a scam?

There is a lot of math stuff which I would like to post here, but I won’t really have time for that until the semester is over.  Meanwhile, here is a strange email I received and my reply to it:

On May 2, 2012, at 4:41 AM, Aleksandra Seremina wrote:

Dear Mr. Michael Hutchings,

I’ve prepared a translation of your ‘Soap bubbles and isoperimetric problems’ page to Romanian. It is available at:

http://www.azoft.com/people/seremina/edu/soap_bubbles-rom.html

Please, include a link to the translation at your original page at

http://math.berkeley.edu/~hutching/pub/bubbles.html so more native speakers could read and/or attract more translations & visitors to your great project.

For your convenience you can insert this html code or make it in your own style:

<a href=”http://www.azoft.com/people/seremina/edu/soap_bubbles-rom.html“>View this page in Romanian</a> courtesy of <a href=”http://www.azoft.com/“>azoft</a>

Best regards,

Alexandra

 Dear Alexandra,

At first I was flattered that someone would want to translate my page into another language.  But then I noticed that your translated webpage just came from Google’s translation tools.  It includes the word “embarassingly” which is not a Romanian word (Google couldn’t translate it because I misspelled it).  So I am a little puzzled as to why you made this webpage and why you want me to link to it.  It makes me suspect some kind of scam.  I would appreciate any clarification you can give me on this.

Thanks,

– Michael Hutchings.

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3 Responses to Is this a scam?

  1. Hui says:

    It definitely is. I received the same email from the same person. If you google it you will find it everywhere. I think azoft does this to boost its ranking on google.

  2. Aleksandra Seremina wrote to me and told me that she updated the translation of my soap bubble page. I checked it and it looks like the errors from Google Translate have been corrected (at least, there is now no error so obvious that one can detect it without being able to read Romanian).

  3. I was wondering why azoft is getting so many backlinks from .edu sites and shockingly here is the answer to it, a clever way to fool people into putting their links. Some foolish guys have even embedded the code on standford’s website as well.

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