How much do sextortionist’s make?

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Wikipedia defines Sextortion, as

a form of sexual exploitation that employs non-physical forms of coercion to extort money or sexual favors from the victim. Sextortion refers to the broad category of sexual exploitation in which abuse of power is the means of coercion, as well as to the category of sexual exploitation in which threatened release of sexual images or information is the means of coercion.

Just under a year ago spammers started to send sextortion emails such as the ones highlighted by Sophos and Brian Krebs
Since I’m still getting theses email into my honeypot I thought I check to see just how much theses scammers made.
Bitcoin wallets allow you to generate addresses on the fly so in theory each email could have a unique address however a quick check on the latest spammer I got has two reports in the Bitcoin Abuse Database since neither of theses reports are from me at least three people received emails with the same address, it is therefore likely that each run of emails has it’s own address.

So how much has our scammer made?
The original address highlighted in Brian Krebs report shows a single payment of 0.28847409 BTC (About $1,522.34 USD) The address this payment was sent to also received 4 other payments into it, two of them where for smaller amount and therefore don’t look like additional runs. therefore their are three sextortion runs from this scammer earning them a total of a round $4,000. A tidy sum for a few hours work.

That however was the first sextortion scammer. checking back on the bitcoin addresses used in emails previously sent to me, I’ve failed to find a single one that has been paid anything.
Clearly like much else if you have a “good” idea and are able to capitalise on it on it you can make some cash, however for most scammers you make nothing, and risk a long prison sentence.

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