Someone spoofed the headers on an email to a redirecting address I own today and it's laughably written, but raised a question for me.
The message claims to have kompromat on me that absolutely does not exist. Clearly it is sent to a large number of email addresses in the hopes that it reaches someone gullible with a guilty conscience that decides to pay. Whether it works or not is questionable (with a sufficiently large email list, I imagine it would). But it makes me wonder about the legality of this kind of scam.
If a person A threatens to blackmail person B with kompromat they don't actually have, but person B is gullible enough to believe it, is it still illegal blackmail?
I will add, per advice in the comments, that I am in the United States.
I will further add, per advice in the comments, that I am in Florida.
Since this is, of course, virtually untraceable and not worth the effort to prosecute anyway, I should say I am asking this question purely out of intellectual curiosity.
As you may have noticed, I sent this email from your email account (if you didn't see, check the from email id). In other words, I have fullccess to your email account.
I infected you with a malware a few months back when you visited an adult site, and since then, I have been observing your actions.
The malware gave me full access and control over your system, meaning, I can see everything on your screen, turn on your camera or microphon and you won't even notice about it.
I also have access to all your contacts.
Why your antivirus did not detect malware? It's simple. My malware updates its signature every 10 minutes, and there is nothing your antivirus can do about it.
I made a video showing both you (through your webcam) and the video you were watching (on the screen) while satisfying yourself. With one click, I can send this video to all your contacts (email, social network, and messengers you use).
You can prevent me from doing this. To stop me, transfer $950 to my bitcoin address. If you do not know how to do this, Google - "Buy Bitcoin".
My bitcoin address (BTC Wallet) is 1LfiwESci8U5iRNn2XwfrcjtVn5CLNZ7LQ
After receiving the payment, I will delete the video, and you will never hear from me again. You have 48 hours to pay. Since I already have access to your system I now know that you have read this email, so your countdown has begun.
Filing a complaint will not do any good because this email cannot be tracked. I have not made any mistakes.
If I find that you have shared this message with someone else, I will immediately send the video to all of your contacts.