Re: I've seen a definite uptick in these
I've been seeing a few of these as well, but the password that they were claiming to have was one that I had used in the past on sites that I didn't care about.
Checking if the email that they came in on was in the Have I Been Pwned (https://haveibeenpwned.com/) lists, it turned out that it was in three of the databases that were hacked in the past, ~10 years back.
The sad part about it is, when I inspected the blockchain activity for the wallets of the 12 different attempted extortion emails, most of them had suckers pay up, though likely a very small percentage of the recipients of the messages.
You could see the activity for most of them had seen between $2-5K worth of BTC deposited, and then transferred out.
One still had ~$8K in the wallet, but there were a few that were never paid in the list as well.
Edit: I just checked the spam folder on that account, and found that I now have 15 such emails, with demands varying from $480 to $4000 depending on the email, and I may have missed some, as I was just checking the obvious ones that I supposedly sent to myself.