How low can you go? That's what some people are asking after word that a local Girl Scout troop got ripped off by someone using counterfeit bills to buy Girl Scout cookies.

It happened last Friday at the Fred Meyer store on DeBarr Road. Melissa Jones, troop leader for Eagle River's Troop 690, said two men came up several times with three $100 bills wanting to buy cookies and get change. It happened during a busy time. and she said she was as surprised as anyone else to learn the bills were fake.

I'm over 50 years old; I've never seen, that I know of, a fake bill before," Long said. "Now these girls are getting that experience at age 12 or 13. They're not going to forget it."

Long said the bank confirmed the money wasn't real, although it looked authentic. She turned it over to the Anchorage Police Department.

The news has frustrated people who find it hard to believe that someone would take advantage of Girl Scouts.

"That's the reaction that I am getting from the community," Long said. "People are coming back saying, 'I can't believe that people would do this to little girls,' but that's the way the world is, I'm sad to say."

Long said there is a silver lining to the situation: the girls have learned a valuable business lesson. Plus, they're getting training on how to spot a counterfeit bill.

Meanwhile, the Girl Scout Council of Alaska says it will reimburse the girls the money. That should help with a trip they plan to take to Costa Rica in June.

Girl Scouts of Alaska CEO Sue Perles said Scout leaders will also get new training next year on counterfeit cash. She said Girl Scouts in the state will no longer be accepting $50 or $100 bills when people pay for cookies.

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