How do I stop people that I don't know emailing me to ask me to be their friend?
Why do the emails that I receive think that I will know a list of people that I have never heard of?
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There is an option on Facebook that scans the contents of a members' address book and sends out invites to people not already on Facebook. If someone has done this then you should have at least heard of them, having presumably exchanged e-mails at some point in the past.
Double check the links contained in the e-mail by examining the source (the option will vary depending on your e-mail client) - it could be a scam designed to get you to think you are signing up to Facebook as a means of getting personal details from you. It sounds like you've done the sensible thing so far and not clicked on any of the links.
To stop being annoyed by the emails, set your email software or webapp to filter out any email coming from
As to why you are receiving them in the first place, ChrisF explained it very well.
Note that as facebook expand their email capabilities
*@facebook.com addresses may become the source of real email messages.