FILED IN: Weird News

Girl Scouts left holding bag in $24,000 order hoax

Girl Scout troop in Portland, Oregon, scammed when fake corporate buyer ordered $24,000 worth of cookies. Photo via girlscouts.org.

A Girl Scout group in Portland, Ore., were the victims of a cruel joke last week when someone identifying themselves as a buyer from a large area corporation submitted a fake $24,000 cookie order.

The story went viral on Friday after a local news station aired a segment on the Girl Scouts and how the scam resulted in the Scouts being on the hook for 6,000 boxes of Thin Mints, Samoas, Tagalongs and other cookie treats.

Apparently the hoax was crafted by one of the troop parent’s co-workers who told the mother of a Girl Scout that the company was interested in buying 500 cases. The co-worker then offered to help the mom get in touch with the company’s buyer. The two apparently exchanged a string of emails which led up to the final order by the supposed buyer.

The buyer never existed however and the cookies arrived without payment or acceptance. The co-worker then admitted to the hoax and apologized. The Girl Scouts have decided not to press charges.

Due to the media coverage, the Girl Scouts set out the next day to sell what they could of the large lot and were astonished to find hundreds of people waiting in line to buy half of the overstock.  The Girl Scouts were able to sell 3,000 boxes in just a few short hours on Friday with more orders coming in over the weekend.

Some customers even came from bordering state Washington to show the Girl Scouts that good people do exist.

The outpouring of community support was a relief to the Scouts, whose summer camp was hanging in the balance. Since the troop was counting on the large sale to support their summer camp, the girls were at risk of having to cancel it altogether.

Girl Scout spokeswoman Sarah Miller told KATU, “I expected a few people to come down. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this many.”

For information on how you can further help this troop attain their goal, you can email cookies@girlscoutsosw.org.