anallawalla - 10:06 am on Feb 26, 2011 (gmt 0)
Yes, Indians certainly send such emails manually and some rookies are paid to harvest email addresses manually, as mil2k says. But their nationality is not relevant.
The person harvesting isn't usually the one who sends the bulk emails, so neither knows the bigger picture. Neither of them could be remotely described as SEOs, although they might say they work for an SEO outsourcing company.
I rarely get such emails asking for a link, but I get at least two every day from the New Delhi area ("Noida\NCR" region - always with a backslash). They offer SEO outsourcing, link building and other services. The number of people in their outfit changes but the core message comes from a boilerplate. Occasionally they add the word "amazing" as part of their A|B testing, I presume.
I also get Indonesians sending me large spreadsheets with samples of their backlink sites each month. I keep all of these for research purposes. The current set usually shows a home page PR of 6 or less but the one from 3 months ago shows a greybar. Matt Cutts could have fun with these lists. Then again he could well be on the same email list? :)
When I feel so inclined, I block entire IP blocks for the particular ISP but eventually someone complains that they can't access my sites - I do have some friends in the country, so I unblock them. :)
I usually treat gmail addresses where the name is followed by numbers as spam and am seldom disappointed.
Once in a while I do get a genuine contact form submission for a cancer-related play site and I do reciprocate the link if appropriate. Such emails seldom mention PR or where they have placed the link. It's easy to spot such emails from the spam.