A man’s ‘vile’ act has infuriated the internet after he scammed a child selling lemonade on the side of a road.
The man allegedly gave 11-year-old Jeremy a counterfeit $100 note at his makeshift stand in Everett, in the US state of Washington, forcing the boy to give him $85 in change.
But when Jeremy later went to spend the money at a petrol station, he was told the note was fake.
The incident occurred several weeks ago, but the Everett Police Department posted a photo of the suspect last week, asking anyone if they recognised the man.
The photo shows the man wearing sunglasses and a dark coloured hoodie as he stands next to a friend.
“Can you identify this individual who took advantage of an 11-year-old running a lemonade stand?” police said.
“While our detectives work hard to bring closure to every case, this case struck a particular chord with them, and they want to do everything they can to get justice for Jeremy and catch this counterfeiter.”
The post quickly went viral, with more than 1000 shares and 750 comments – many condemning the alleged criminal’s act.
“What a vile human being to take advantage of a child,” one person wrote.
“For a so-called adult to do this to a child is outright disgusting,” another said.
Others described the offence as “sickening” and “heartbreaking”, while one said it’s “the most despicable thing a person can do”.
“He should be ashamed of himself,” another added.
GoFundMe raises thousands for boy
In just four days, generous donors worldwide have raised almost A$33,500 for Jeremy, far surpassing the original $85 – plus product – he was out of pocket.
Amy Steenfott, a neighbour who set up the page, said the family was overwhelmed by the support they had received.
“Jeremy doesn’t know the amount of love and support you all have sent just quite yet. We are trying to figure out how to do this,” she said.
“Again THANK YOU from the bottoms of our hearts. This proves that there are so many great people in this world and we far surpass the bad ones.”
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