By: Melina Matthes
OMAHA (kptm) - Crooks are scamming Girl Scouts by giving them counterfeit cash when they buy cookies.
It has actually happened in Omaha and one local troop leader has a new way to protect her scouts.
Technology is her weapon and it's doing more than just defend against criminals.
For her troop to avoid getting scammed with phony money, they use an IPad on nearly every transaction.
Her daughter, Anna Zingler, has been selling Girl Scout cookies for three years. "I think it's really fun. I love doing both the door to door sales and the booths."
And her troop is the only one in Omaha that takes credit cards. Allowing customers to keep their cash, she says has increased their sales. "Cause if they only had cash for 3.50 then they could buy more with a credit card."
"I definitely think the credit card app is kind of the way of the future to be honest with you. I mean that's what most people turn to, that's what most people find convenient and I think cash is almost becoming obsolete," troop leader Susan Zingler said.
And she says it's kept her troop safe from crooks. In previous years Omaha troops have been given counterfeit cash at grocery stores. And in California this year, $200 worth of cookies was bought with phony money. "I don't think that's really fair to anybody because Girl Scoutsits having fun so if you get counterfeit money then it's not really fun to anybody because you have to find how much they gave, and find the money and you have to pay it back," Anna said.
And even though there's a small fee to use the credit card app, Susan said it's worth it. Teaching her troop about credit cards and handling cash is priceless. "You learn to do both actually so that's helping for the future for a job," Anna said.
"The girls being able to have that option to use a credit card especially in today's world where that's just how a lot of people are doing business, it's a huge benefit," Susan said.
She said selling Girl Scout cookies is a chance for her troops to build skills and confidence and using the credit card app is a lifelong lesson that they'll take to heart. She encourages other troop leaders to also follow in her footsteps.
You won't see Girl Scout cookies for much longer. Local grocery store booths and door to door sales end this Sunday, March 9th.