A large chunk of it came honestly. I got very efficient at doing low paying tasks online during idle moments. Probably the "best" one involved doing an ever increasing amount of work reading, summarizing, and interpreting scientific literature for someone's graduate thesis. At a rate of $1/paper, damned if I didn't do most of their project for ~$75, and I speak fairly expertly about that subject now.
A low point was doing an hour long survey where I was asked to look at pictures of dead kids and periodically asked trick questions to see if I was still looking at the photos and how upset I was feeling. Gee... really upset?
But, hey, PS4, four controllers, and Diablo 3.
In terms of the passive income:
Opened bing rewards accounts until I got a few that gave me $1.10 a day. Slammed them with search scripts. Microsoft wields the ban hammer pretty viciously these days and ALL accounts have been chopped to 25 cents a day. And they call you to verify information. And they love banning you when you're redeeming points. Not worth the effort on your own time/electricity.
The bigger fish was using a rewards program on a bunch of old Apple devices. Predictably, it got less and less lucrative and required more user intervention for far fewer rewards. They finally shut down the really old version of the app I was running on an old Ipad behind a firewall that filtered out their attention check pings. My wife was conscripted to occasionally thump "Yes" on the screens on the other devices as she walked by. Anyway, it was sad to see that come to an end because it started around $40 a week and was still a good $20-25 until recently.
In terms of squeezing blood out of Amazon:
Never call. Never e-mail. Always chat. Always click that you want a transcript. If you don't like what you hear, close the chat and start a new one.
They have a three month return window from Nov 1 - Jan 31. Buy your video games mid-November, squeeze them for refunds on Black Friday, squeeze them for more refunds mid-Dec, and squeeze again in January when the prices bottom out. I actually MADE money on Shadow Warrior. If they refuse, threaten to return and rebuy. Do so if necessary.
Get Amazon Prime. Every time they miss the 2 day delivery window, demand your extra free month of Prime. This is part of the deal. If you want to be a real ass about it, order from "fulfilled by Amazon" sellers in other parts of the country. You'll avoid sales tax, they'll miss the 2 day shipping guarantee, and you get a free month. Amazon's going to get their act together eventually on this one. Maybe.
Occasionally they'll put a game on sale for less than they'll give you on a trade in. They've paid me to slap a label they've provided on their envelope and push their same package back at them more than once.
I've got a couple others but the returns are diminishing on those, too.