turbocharged - 10:03 am on Aug 9, 2013 (gmt 0)
Link removal services are using automated tools to send out emails that are formatted so poorly that they often look like or are nothing more than spam. Working under the cover of a legitimate service, they are also requesting removal of links from sites they have no affiliation with - other than someone paying them to remove the links (likely a competitor).
I've seen some fishy link removal requests and followed up on some. By fishy I mean if xyz.com wants their links removed and the request came from a hotmail.com address. Low and behold the owner of xyz.com does not want their link removed, but someone else is sure trying to get it done for them anyway.
I'm sure there are some professionals out there, but the vast majority of these services exist solely to make money any way they can - by either removing bad links or good links from sites that compete with their clients.