Since the experience turned out to be amusing, I thought I'd describe what it was like for me to receive a blackmail attempt via spam.
The blackmailer did not get off to an auspicious start: the email was from "Anonymous Hacker". As opposed to... the other type of hacker? The type who includes their full name, address, and phone number?
OK, moving on.
Their email carried on in leet-speak, l1k3 thi$, @nnoy1ngly. Maybe they thought it would give them extra street cred as a hacker? Because it's so hard to substitute letters? Who knows.
Anyway, the email said I had been watching adult videos and they would email all of my contacts about this unless I paid them. This cracked me up, as a) I have not watched adult videos and b) even if I had, I wouldn't care and besides, any email they'd send to my contacts would wind up in my contacts spam folder.
Indeed, the spammer's email would normally have gotten shunted into my own spam filter. It was only because my email's spam filter isn't very good that I even saw this email.
So, this was pretty much a blackmail fail all around. Newsflash, spammers shouldn't try to blackmail people by email, because it'll go to spam and the recipient won't even see it. If the recipient does see it, the spammer won't even know.
So if a spammer wants to blackmail me, they'll have to do it in real life. And that's right, they don't even know who I am.
To make it even more hilarious, the spammer didn't even give instructions on how to pay. Instead they mentioned a previous email which they'd sent me, which I'd probably deleted the minute I received it. So if I was somehow gullible enough to a) believe them and b) actually pay (neither of which apply to me), I'd have to refer to, yes that's right, a previous email. Who in their right minds would keep around a piece of spam like that in their inbox?!
Anyway, unlike most other spam, I got a good belly laugh at this one. The laughing made me feel good. This led me to thinking, for the sake of your mental health, you should probably laugh at any spam that you accidentally read. (Obviously deleting it without reading it is the best solution.) But if you do accidentally read it, if everyone took a minute to have a good LOL moment every time they saw spam, people would feel better. Instead of being something that causes anxiety in some people, spam would now become something that people laugh at (not laugh with, laugh at), and improve their mental health. Hopefully.