Well apparently scammers have learned the utility of using fear as a motivator to giving up personal information, either via email or the phone.
I recently received an email warning of the latest instances of scams, which are essentially online extortion rackets. Basically these are SPAM messages which appear to come from a hit man who has been hired to give you a dirt nap. And give explicit instructions on how you can buy them off.
Other versions are derived from this approach and come from a spoofed FBI investigator who needs to verify your information for "security" purposes.
You can read all about it on the FBI website.