Phishing For Programmer Interview Questions or Resumes?

I get recruiting emails and phone calls often, and it’s not surprising that my spam filter (the fabulous SpamBayes) passes through emails that mention C#, Java, unit testing, and so forth. The other day I received an email that mentioned a programming position and then said, essentially, “Send your resume and answer these questions: What is the role of unit testing in software development? What are some guidelines for deciding where to place functionality? etc.” (I don’t remember the exact questions, but they were of the sort you would expect for a “level 1 screen” of a programmer.)

At the bottom was an opt-out link. Since the content seemed legitimate and I’m fortunate enough to be in a position where my response to those sorts of questions is “If you have to ask if I know that, we probably don’t need to talk,” I whacked the opt-out link. After doing so, I realized that the contact information at the bottom of the email was all bogus.

So, what was that? It was awfully elaborate if it was just confirming a live email address for general spam. Two kinds of phishing occur to me: they might be trying to generate answers that they or their clients might be asked in programming interviews? (Basically, a phishing version of those posts on newsgroups that amount to “Do my homework for me?”) The other thought was that they were phishing as a prelude to an identity theft kind of con.

Has anyone else seen this kind of behavior?