Going viral during a pandemic

I’ve been getting quite a bit of unsolicited email of late. It started with this one, in late July:

Hi Kean,
Did you know that a QR code of your email address is currently being
circulated all around the globe in a viral meme?

It came with a couple of images attached:

The meme

Scanning a QR code

Perhaps somewhat rudely I largely ignored it, as I thought it was some elaborate spam or phishing attempt. I did scan the QR codes and found some curious things encoded: my email address, the URL to blogs.autodesk.com, my old Autodesk office phone number, the location of said office, my contact information (with the old phone number, thankfully), and a couple of notes with random(ish) text. I wasn’t especially concerned, as it was all information that was either public information or no longer relevant. A bit weird that someone would take the time to encode my information in a meme, but hey. No big deal.

But the emails kept coming. What was a bit strange was that several came from people in the Netherlands, the…

Read more