Needless to say it could be spam, but often things such as this are simply bad fortune.
This is really more prevalent than you may think. There’s two opportunities: spam
That which you describe really appears great deal like spam: e-mail from individuals you’ve never heard about.
Now I’m going to assume from your own concern that the e-mail your buddy gets does not seem like spam: it is maybe maybe perhaps not selling you any such thing, ask you for cash, or help you to click a web link. It’s probably not spam, though emails that don’t look like spam can still sometimes be used as probes to see if an email address might be valid if it doesn’t look like spam.