Posted: 4:45 p.m. Monday, Dec. 23, 2013

Police: $1,400 in fake cash used in Craigslist deal

ATLANTA —

Police are investigating two cases of counterfeit money in metro Atlanta.

The counterfeiters in at least two cases have targeted victims online.

In the rush to buy and sell stuff around the holiday season, you can easily be tricked into taking counterfeit money. In the latest case, the victim told Channel 2's Tony Thomas he realized the cash was fake, but that didn't prevent him from being robbed.

The Lawrenceville man, who didn't want be identified, said he thought he had a legitimate buyer for the two iPhones he listed on Craigslist. To be safe, he met the man inside a Walmart,

"I looked at the money and I said, 'But those look fake,'" the victim said.

He said the man then grabbed the two iPhones and ran, leaving the $1,400 in fake cash behind.

"It happened so quickly that I didn't know what to do," the victim said.

Thomas said the fake bills felt like different paper than what normal currency is on. When the bills were held to the light, the markers couldn't be seen inside like most bills.

This was the second reported incident of people receiving counterfeit cash for Craigslist sales in recent days. One woman was given fake money for a van.

Secret Service agent Charles Brand said his agency has found $1.3 million in counterfeit currency this year. He said the best way to prevent becoming a victim is to look and feel what you're given.

"Paper that is used to produce paper money is different than any other paper that you may feel. You can just tell the difference, it should be slick, also look for the blue and red fiber," Brand said.

"I'm glad they didn't try to hurt us. Because if we had tried to grab them or chase them, they could have done more," the victim said.

Gwinnett County police are investigating both cases. It's unclear at this point if they are related.

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