Counterfeit bills used to purchase vehicle

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- Stephany Degarmo is a single mother of two young children.

"I was sick to my stomach all day yesterday I just couldn't believe it, I wanted to sell this vehicle, I needed to pay some bills," she said.

She placed an ad on the Facebook group "LinConsign" for her 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe and said she got several replies.

One woman who was interested traveled from Iowa.

"This lady contact me on Facebook messenger and she showed up to buy the vehicle, she test drove it, went around the block a couple times," said Degarmo.

She then handed Degarmo cash, $1,000 in $50 bills.

"She pulled out the cash and I was really busy with my two little ones, I had them here, so I didn't really pay attention," she said.

It wasn't until she had signed over the title and the woman was more than 20 minutes away that she realized the money was fake.

"The police had me contact her again and basically ask her if she could bring the vehicle back, she asked why and then I explained to her that the money was fake and she's like, no way, the moneys not fake," she said.

Lincoln Police said unless they catch the woman, there isn't much they can do.

"It's very, very difficult, it's especially challenging for them because there's not a lot of recourse, we take it, we investigate it, we prosecute them, but the fact is they may be out of their money and that's generally what happens," said Ofc. Luke Bonkiewicz, LPD.

LPD suggests people slow down and look at the money they're getting when making cash transactions and reminds sellers to use the Lincoln Swap Spot at 1501 N. 27th Street.