Scammer rips off 11-year-old boy at lemonade stand with faux 0 invoice


Jeremy Ryzhonkov was once basking within the afterglow. The 11-year-old had simply scored a large sale whilst operating his lemonade stand at a hectic intersection close to his house in Everett, Wash. A person purchased about $20 value of snacks and beverages from Jeremy’s cooler, and the boy deliberate to make use of the earnings to stay construction his trade whilst sending a portion of the price range to other folks in war-torn Ukraine.

But suspicion began to nag at Jeremy after the client walked clear of the stand the place, excluding lemonade, he sells popcorn, cotton sweet and a number of sodas, KCPQ reported. The $100 invoice the person had given him didn’t really feel proper, and its coloring gave the impression off. Jeremy went to a close-by fuel station, the place a clerk gave him the dangerous information.

“Nope, now not actual,” Jeremy mentioned, recounting the interplay to the TV station.

Having gotten about $80 in alternate for the C-note, the person had scammed the 11-year-old out of all of the cash he had earned that day, which Jeremy deliberate to make use of to enlarge his rising set of entrepreneurial endeavors — promoting snacks in particular person, promoting them by the use of merchandising machines, shoveling snow within the wintry weather, mowing lawns in the summertime. The boy reported the con to the Everett Police Department, which advised The Washington Post that detectives are nonetheless investigating, operating guidelines they’ve gained since going public with the case final week.

While filming for his YouTube channel, Jeremy captured video of the June 15 transaction and the suspect. Police launched a nonetheless symbol of that pictures final week. Although two males are proven within the screenshot, detectives have described just one as a suspect.

The budding entrepreneur mentioned he began his myriad companies so he may just earn cash to develop his empire, to ship what he may just to his ancestral hometown of Ukraine and to, smartly, purchase issues he needs — and he knew no person was once going to simply give him the money for all that.

“I feel there’s not anything on this planet this is unfastened,” he advised KING.

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The scammer hit the lemonade stand on June 15, Everett police advised The Post in an e mail. Jeremy mentioned the incident left him “very upset, very unhappy,” particularly as it pressured him to close down. On Thursday, Everett police went public with what happened, and after a number of requests from other folks short of to lend a hand, Jeremy’s neighbor, Amy Steenfott, began a GoFundMe campaign to lend a hand Jeremy recoup his losses. She set a purpose of elevating $250.

That became out to be unambitious. By Saturday, she’d raised some $1,800. By Tuesday, $13,000. And through early Wednesday, some 1,100 other folks had donated just about $25,000. On the website, Steenfott mentioned she’d tied the Ryzhonkovs to the GoFundMe marketing campaign so they might withdraw cash immediately.

“This proves that there are such a lot of nice other folks on this international and we a long way surpass the dangerous ones,” Steenfott wrote in an replace on Sunday.

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Jeremy, who became 12 final week, reopened his stand on Friday, KING reported. He was once again to hawking snacks, promoting beverages and spinning sugar floss into cotton sweet. Although he didn’t permit getting swindled to close him down completely, he reopened with some new regulations. Starting now, he accepts handiest small expenses and makes certain to test them two times.

Strangers helped on that entrance, too. While he was once operating his stand past due final week, a girl stopped through to provide Jeremy a counterfeit detection pen, KING reported. “Next time anyone does that, mark the invoice. If it comes up a peculiar colour, it’s faux,” she advised him.

Jeremy’s father, Sergiy Ryzhonkov, implored the scammers to modify their tactics. “Look at your long run,” he advised KCPQ. “Where are you going to finally end up? These children accept as true with in you as you’re [an] grownup. You must [be an] instance for them.”

His son was once extra direct in his message to the boys who ripped him off.

“Stop scamming, like, children.”

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