I was HORRIFIED to read that Jennifer Jackson's name and reputation have been used by filthy scammers to promote themselves.
Details here on the Writer Beware blog.
All of us are vulnerable to this kind of thing.
You, getting the email.
Agents, being used as cover.
So, what to do.
First, it's true that, while rare, agents do reach out to authors if they've seen something they like. It happens more often with agents who are building a list, but experienced agents do it as well. Nat Sobel often found writers by reaching out to short story writers. (I remain insanely envious of the talent he scooped up this way.)
So, if you hear from an agent, do not just assume it's a hoax.
How to investigate?
See if the email address matches for starters.
My email address has my name and no one else's.
The email address I use matches the one on my website, and on Publishers Marketplace.
Use the email on the agent's website to follow up on these kinds of pitches.
You can always Tweet to the agent as well: Hi Janet, I got an email offering marketing plans that says it's from you. Is it?
After I extinguish the blaze on top of my head, I'll let you know it isn't.
Trust your instincts. If you read this blog you know a lot about publishing by now, and you know when something looks off.