A Richmond Hill resident is warning others of fake “clone” smartphones showing up in the GTA after she loses more than $1,200 in a purchase made on a classified website.

The latest iPhone XS Max with 512GB typically sells for about $2,000. College student Louisa Bastone found a classified advertisement on Kijiji that was selling the phone for about $800 less than that.

She met the seller in a Starbucks coffee shop. Bastone told CTV News Toronto that the phone was stil in the box and had all the packaging.

"He said he just picked it up from Apple and it looked very legit,” said Bastone. “I did notice that he didn’t really give me the phone. He said he didn’t want me to drop it because then I wouldn’t buy it.”

Bastone paid the seller $1,250 for the phone, but after he left she realized that the device had an android operating system and many of the apps didn’t work properly.

“It wasn't until after I gave him the money and I put in my sim card that I realized it was a fraudulent phone."

Bastone isn’t the first consumer to purchase a fake iPhone. Most are sold through classified websites or by sellers in parking lots.

Manufacturers say the best way to avoid buying a fake or "clone phone" is to only buy it through an authorized phone dealer where you can return it if you have a problem.

Bastone said she is now stuck with a phone she is afraid to use in case it’s been hacked and her personal information is stolen.

“It's another life lesson. Unfortunately it's a hard one to learn,” she said. “I don't want other people to get in the same situation."