Recently I came across an issue where in my SharePoint site, task assignments began to send alert to assigned users in-spite of them not subscribing for the same. Auto alert image below.
We have a custom workflow process that goes through sequential approval steps with custom task forms, so this additional alert was unexpected.
On investigation I found that for some reason, in my ‘Workflow Tasks’ list, E-Mail Notification section’s > Send an e-mail when ownership is assigned was automagically turned ON resulting in two fancy(?!) approval notifications with one lazy, curtesy Nintex(its pretty awesome!) and the other sharepionty(this is awesome too, just not intentional!).
I reset it to No and it stopped sending the task alert to approvers.
If you have setup custom workflows in your site and are faced with sudden double assignments, be sure to rule out the above setting before pressing the panic button.