Members of an East County Brownie troop are concerned a cookie crook may be targeting Girl Scouts, using counterfeit money to buy cookies.
While selling cookies Sunday at a La Mesa shopping center on Lake Murray Boulevard, 8-year-old Leah and her mom Amy Hayhurst said someone pulled a fast one on their troop.
Hayhurst said a Santee bank teller told her two $20 bills she had been given were fake.
"When we went to turn in the money at the bank, they told us 'Oh no! This has been happening a lot to Girl Scouts'," Hayhurst said.
A third of the money Girl Scouts collect from cookie sales goes towards give-back projects.
Leah's Brownie Troop 5064 has collected clothing for the homeless. They've also sent toys to kids in Thailand.
"It's just really sad someone would steal from us," said Leah. "We're just trying to help. We're not trying to do anything bad in the world."
Leah's troop is now keeping a closer eye on the money they receive, concerned Girl Scouts are being targeted by cookie crooks.
"I think it's kind of pathetic to target young girls," Hayhurst said. "They are the youngest in the community and doing so much to try and serve the community."
Law enforcement officials in La Mesa and Santee said they have not received any reports of Girl Scouts being duped by counterfeiters.