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Woman Scammed Out Of $86,000 On Relationship

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- High hopes for a love connection cost a New Jersey woman her entire life savings when she was scammed on

As CBS 2's Tracee Carrasco reported, the 59-year-old woman is now warning others who look for love online.

The Montclair, N.J. woman, who did not want her name used, fell victim to a heartless scam on the dating site.

During a six-month online relationship in 2012, the two-time cancer survivor said a man who called himself Maxwell Yas conned her out of $86,000.

"I cashed money out of an IRA; out of, you know, retirement money," the woman said.

Using a fake picture and dating profile, Yas claimed he was 60 years old, from New York, and working as a civil engineer in Malaysia. Against her better judgment, the woman moved forward.

"I've always been a very rational person, and everything told me: 'No, you have to question this. It doesn't sound right,'" the woman said.

The woman said Yas made up elaborate stories and said he was in financial trouble. Even though they never met, the victim wired large sums of money to him.

"You want to believe, because you think you're developing a relationship," the woman said.

CBS 2 reached out to, which referred to its website of online safety tips.

The first tip on the page is to ignore any request to send money. also advises being careful about sharing personal information, and being wary of communication that sounds too good to be true.

And while it is too late for the Montclair woman, she hopes others will hear her warning.

"No matter what they say; no matter what kind of tale they tell you, you really have to be brave and say no," she said.

The FBI has launched an investigation into the case, along with the Montclair Police Department. But the chances of recovering the $86,000 the woman lost is considered very slim.

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