A MOTHER was left traumatised after she was mugged as she tried to buy a phone through a buy-and-sell app.

Jessica Zammitt, 20, from Westcliff, had £280 snatched from her hands after travelling to meet a woman who was selling an iPhone on Shpock - a buy-and-sell app similar to Gumtree.

Miss Zammitt put an offer for the phone, which was accepted.

Soon after, she began speaking with the woman to arrange collection of the phone, but wanted to see the device beforehand.

She drove to Hatfield, in Hertfordshire, to collect the phone and called the woman when she arrived to say she was outside.

Miss Zammitt, told the Echo: “It was the worst experience of my life.

“I don’t even want to step outside again at the moment.

“I was standing outside the communal entrance to the block of flats and after around 30 seconds of getting off the phone with the girl to say I had arrived, a man wearing all black came out and barged me and snatched the envelope with the money in out of my hand, and ran off.

“I just froze, I was in complete shock. I was frightened and I was in a place I had never been before.

“Once I started to register what had happened, I got in my car and drove to the nearest police station which was around the corner.

Miss Zammit said she felt secure when communicating with the woman because she had a profile photo on her Shpock account, was polite and well-spoken.

Miss Zammit was also given a full address and phone number.

She added: “I am having trouble sleeping after what happened, and I keep getting flashbacks.

“I want to raise awareness of people using apps like Shpock, that you don’t know who you are meeting and you don’t even have to verify who you are to create a profile.

“I don’t want to use any apps like this again, I have lost total trust in any of them.”

A Herts Police spokesman, said officers are investigating the alleged incident on March 29.

“The victim, a woman in her twenties, had arranged online to buy a mobile phone from a block of flats in Clarkson Court.

“It is reported that when the victim arrived at the communal area of the flats, she was approached by a man who then grabbed the envelope containing the money from her.

“It is reported that the man barged her out of the way and made off onto Tamblin Way.

“Any witnesses and anyone with information should call the non-emergency number 101 quoting crime reference 41/26697/20.”