A woman in Langley Green was tricked into handing over a diamond ring in exchange for £500 in fake £20 notes.
The victim, who asked not to be named, had advertised the ring for sale on Gumtree and had a call from a man who came to her house on Tuesday June 2.
She had hoped to use the money to buy bunkbeds for her two young children.
The young man who took the ring had said he was in a hurry as he was about to fly to Spain, where he was going to propose to his girlfriend.
It was only after he’d rushed off that she realised she had been given counterfeit banknotes.
Her father told the Obby that the fakes were good, but all had the same serial number.
“The tragic thing is, now she doesn’t know what to do about getting the kids their bunk beds,” he said.
He added that he had a message for the conman: “Thanks mate, I hope one day you will get a conscience until then spare a thought for my daughter who is left distraught having to explain to her five year old the bunk beds are not coming now.”
He said the notes have been handed to police, and Gumtree have been informed.
A statement from Sussex Police said: “Police received a report from a woman who had sold £500 worth of jewellery to a man who had paid for it with cash, which had turned out to be fake notes on 2 June.
“She was advised to report the incident to Action Fraud and to get the cash checked at the bank.
“An officer has also collected the counterfeit money from her and seized it.”
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