First on FOX61: UConn law student victim of counterfeit cash scam

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HARTFORD -- Kelly DeSalvatore just wanted to get the new iPhone 8.

So she did what hundreds of thousands of Americans plan to do, sell her phone for a price. She decided to use the popular online marketplace app "Offer Up".

“I never heard anyone say 'oh don’t use that'," said DeSalvatore. "I've never heard bad things about it.”

She found a potential buyer and agreed to meet him at a parking lot in a Hartford Walgreens.

“It was kind of weird that he was looking around suspiciously a little bit and then like kept looking down at his phone," said DeSalvatore.

Before she knew it, the con-man handed her a fistful of fake cash and ran away with her phone.

“I was like in shock. I didn’t know what to do. I never felt counterfeit money before but I know that it didn’t feel like real cash to me," explained DeSalvatore.

She eventually told the authorities what happened and they said they are investigating the issue.

But police said she's lucky.

“We had a lot of issues, including a homicide related to our social media transactions be it Craigslist or Offer Up," said Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley.

He said if you have to use one of these apps, make sure to meet up at your local police station.

“Bring a friend with you. Bring a cell phone with you. Try to take pictures. Try to get to know the person you’re doing the transaction with. Do it in a well lit very public, very open place,” said Foley.

Click here to find out ways to determine if you have fake money.