Scammer Dad Uses Daughter To Sell Nonexistent Girl Scout Cookies Door-To-Door

Our forensic artist's recreation of the crime.

Our forensic artist’s recreation of the crime.

It’s a pretty common sight every year to see parents escorting their Girl Scout daughters around the neighborhood, ringing doorbells and trying to move as many Samoas and Tagalongs as possible. So the residents of one Pennsylvania town didn’t think twice when a man who grew up in the area came around with his youngster to sell Girl Scout cookies — that is, until those treats never materialized.

KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh reports that a 33-year-old father has been arrested after making the rounds with his daughter, taking cash for cookie orders that he had no intention of fulfilling.

One Washington Township woman says her husband bought two boxes of Tagalongs from the alleged scammer. The total was $8; her husband gave the man $10 and told him to keep the change. In keeping with the flim-flam spirit, the man said he’d donate that extra money to disabled veterans.

The scammer not only used his daughter to give his ruse the necessary veneer of authenticity, he also preyed upon people who knew him as a familiar face around town.

“[W]e trusted him,” says the victim. “He went to school with some of the kids in the area. They are all grown up now. To think that this kind of thing is going on in your neighborhood is not good. He was nice back in the day.”

Police received reports from eight victims who were taken for anywhere from $4 to $44, but KDKA reports that there were other families taken in by this con who didn’t notify authorities.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.