Ladies, guard your pocketbooks and prepare to get stingy.
A 55-year old woman who took to online dating in hopes of finding new love after her husband died, found heartache and lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
ABC is reporting that Esther Ortiz came face-to-screen with a fake military man. It's a scam that claims new victims daily.
The Army Criminal Investigation Unit is warning people to be extra vigilant.
In a press release Chris Grey, Army CID's spokesman said people need to stop sending money to persons they meet on the Internet who claim to be in the U.S. military. "It is heartbreaking to hear these stories over and again of people who have sent thousands of dollars to someone they have never met and sometimes have never even spoken to on the phone," he said.
The release goes on to say the victims are most often unsuspecting women, 30 to 55 years old, who think they are romantically involved on the Internet with an American Soldier, when in fact they are being cyber-robbed by perpetrators thousands of miles away.
"These are not Soldiers. They are thieves," he reminded.
For more tips on how to protect yourself from military romance scams, click here.
Remember, romance scams aren't just happening in the U.S... they're worldwide. A relatively recent UK study, found that 200,000 residents fell prey to online romance scams -- an alarming and growing trend.