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Student who receives ‘business proposal’ email from scammer, gets them to send him money instead


A 22-year-old from Ireland has managed to do the miraculous: Getting an email scammer to give him money.

According to a story in the Irish Times, it’s not the first time that Ross Walsh has done it. Twice before, the University of Limerick student has managed to scam a scammer into giving him cash.

This time out, the Times reported, Walsh was emailed by someone identifying himself as Solomon Gundi.

Solomon — the obviously not-so-wise — said in the email he was a “big business leader looking to go into business with fellow enthusiastic businessman. I want you to invest £1,000 ($1,200) in my company for exchange for half business.”

The business was trading stocks, and Solomon wanted Walsh to send the money to his PayPal account. In exchange, Solomon would invest the money and bring a big return.

Well, Walsh knew just what to do.

The Times reports the young man replied saying, “Delighted to receive your intriguing business proposal. As you know I’m a very enthusiastic businessman and think £1,000 is an insult. I have attached proof of payment of £50,000 ($61,700) to get the ball running. One thing you need to understand about doing business in Europe is we do things BIG. Please get back to me ASAP to discuss our next move.”

“Then I sent him a doctored picture of the transaction for £50,000 and he replied straight away,” Walsh told BBC News. “He said that he hadn’t got the money in his account yet.”

Walsh was prepared. He told Solomon that his bank had put a freeze on the transaction, fearing it was a scam.

“I have had this problem many times before,” Walsh wrote back, “and it is an easy fix. … In order to unfreeze the assets they need to see a small sum of money going from your account to mine to prove this isn’t a scam. The last time £25 ($30) worked.”

Well, Solomon fell for it, the Times and BBC report, transferring the money into Walsh’s account.

And, best of all, Walsh donated the money to the Irish Cancer Society.

On his Instagram post of the transactions, Walsh wrote, “Like the last 2 times I wanted to waste their time so they don’t waste anyone else’s or before they prey on a vulnerable person. This is my largest haul to date a whopping £25.”

Here’s hoping that Walsh keeps at it.

Chris Pastrick is a Tribune-Review digital producer. You can contact Chris at 412-320-7898, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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