BBC News

Limerick student tricks scammer to give him money

By Leanna Byrne

image copyrightRoss Walsh
image captionRoss Walsh tricked the would-be scammer into sending him money, which he then donated to charity

A student from County Kilkenny in the Republic of Ireland has managed to scam money out of an internet scammer.

The scammer transferred £25 to the student's account, which he subsequently donated to charity.

This is the third time that Ross Walsh, a 22-year-old student at the University of Limerick, has extracted a small sum from online scammers for charity.

"I want to waste their time so they're not wasting anyone else's time," he said.

The story was first reported in the Limerick Leader on Saturday.

Earlier this month, Mr Walsh was contacted by a "Solomon Gundi", who identified himself as a "big business banker".

Mr Gundi emailed asking for £1,000 for his stock trading business.

image copyrightRoss Walsh

"I want you to invest £1,000 in my company for exchange for half business," the Mr Gundi email account wrote.

Mr Walsh said he replied to the email immediately to have a bit of fun.

"I told him this was very interesting, but that I thought £1,000 was an insult and that I wanted to give £50,000," he said.

image copyrightRoss Walsh

"Then I sent him a doctored picture of the transaction for £50,000 and he replied straight away.

"He said that he hadn't got the money in his account yet."

Mr Walsh told the Solomon Gundi account that the bank had put a stop on the transaction because it thought it was a scam.

image copyrightRoss Walsh

He even told the scammer that the pair should "speak in code" to avoid "the taxman".

The code Mr Walsh chose to use was all terminology from the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) sport of hurling.

Money would be code for "high ball", transaction would be code for "short puck out", business would be code for "county final" and PayPal code for "the square".

"I said they don't want to release the funds unless they see a small sum of money going from his account to my account just to prove this isn't a scam," said Mr Walsh.

"He fell for it then."

image copyrightRoss Walsh

After £25 had been transferred into the student's account, he let the scammer in on his own scam with another hurling analogy.

"Solomon I want to give you some advice," wrote Mr Walsh.

"One thing you need to understand about county final is never trust a short puck out."

Mr Walsh also forwarded the invoice for his £25 (€28) donation to a cancer charity to the Solomon Gundi account.

image copyrightRoss Walsh

"I'll always give it to a good cause to get use out of the money because for all I know, that's someone else's money," he said.

Mr Walsh said he has never reported these accounts to the gardaí (Irish police).

The Solomon Gundi account has since been shut down, according to Mr Walsh.

A garda spokesperson said they were "not aware of any such scam".

Related Topics

  • Republic of Ireland