Scammer scams 11-year-old boy at lemonade stand with fake $100 bill


Jeremy Ryzhonkov basked in the afterglow. The 11-year-old boy had just made a big sale while working at his lemonade stand at a busy intersection near his home in Everett, Washington. A man bought about $20 worth of snacks and drinks from Jeremy’s cooler, and the boy planned to use the proceeds to continue to grow his business while sending some of the funds to people in torture-torn Ukraine. war.

But suspicion began to hang over Jeremy after the customer walked away from the stand where, apart from lemonade, he sells popcorn, cotton candy and a variety of sodas, KCPQ reported. The $100 bill the man gave her didn’t look right to her, and its color looked faded. Jeremy drove to a nearby gas station, where an employee told him the bad news.

“No, not real,” Jeremy said, recounting the interaction to the TV station.

After getting around $80 in change for the C-note, the man had scammed the 11-year-old boy out of all the money he had earned that day, which Jeremy planned to use to expand his growing range entrepreneurial activities – selling snacks in person, selling them through vending machines, shoveling snow in winter, mowing lawns in summer. The boy reported the scam to the Everett Police Department, who told the Washington Post that detectives are still investigating, working on tips they have received since going public with the case last week .

While filming for his YouTube channel, Jeremy captured video of the June 15 transaction and the suspect. Police released a still image of this footage last week. Although two men appear in the screenshot, detectives only described one as a suspect.

The budding entrepreneur said he started his myriad businesses in order to earn money to grow his empire, to send what he could to his ancestral homeland of Ukraine, and to, well , buy the things he wanted – and he knew that no one was just going to give him the money for any of it.

“I don’t think there’s anything in the world that’s free,” he said. KING.

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The scammer hit the lemonade stand on June 15, Everett police told The Post in an email. Jeremy said the incident left him “very disappointed, very sad”, especially because he forced it out of business. Thursday, Everett police have made public what happenedand after several requests from people willing to help, Jeremy’s neighbor Amy Steenfott started a GoFundMe campaign to help Jeremy recoup his losses. She has set herself the goal of raising $250.

It turned out to be unambitious. On Saturday, she had raised a few $1,800. By Tuesday, $13,000. And by early Wednesday, some 1,100 people had donated nearly $25,000. On the site, Steenfott said she linked the Ryzhonkovs to the GoFundMe campaign so they could withdraw money directly.

“It proves that there are so many great people in this world and we far outweigh the bad ones,” Steenfott wrote in an update Sunday.

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Jeremy, who turned 12 last week, reopened his stand on Friday, KING reported. He was back to hawking snacks, selling drinks, and turning sugar floss into cotton candy. Although he didn’t let get ripped off to shut it down for good, he reopened with new rules. Now he only accepts small denominations and makes sure to check them twice.

Foreigners also helped on this front. While working at his booth late last week, a woman stopped to give Jeremy a counterfeit detection pen, KING reported. “Next time someone does that, mark the bill. If it turns a weird color, it’s wrong,” she told him.

Jeremy’s father, Sergiy Ryzhonkov, implored the scammers to change their ways. “Look at your future”, he said KCPQ. “Where are you going to end up? These kids trust you just the way you are [an] adult. You should [be an] example for them. »

Her son was more direct in his message to the men who scammed him.

“Stop scamming, Askids.”

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