JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It is a tale of deception that usually ends with heartache and financial loss. The FBI is warning the public about online "romance scams."
In 2016, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received close to 15,000 reports of “romance scams,” amounting to more than $230 million in losses.
The states with the most victims were California, Florida, Texas, New York and Pennsylvania.
A local woman, who wanted to remain anonymous and went by "Angela," said she was the perfect target: She was single, just got out of a bad relationship and was looking for a companion.
In December, she met a man on the site Plenty of Fish. She said he seemed promising.
"He said he had a cabin in Blue Ridge Georgia," she said. "He had a boat, the car he was driving not knowing it wasn't his car."
The relations that began online quickly grew.
"It grew really fast," she said. "I thought he really did care for me."
Angela said she was wined and dined and a month later, they were planning a wedding. They went to a bridal shop to try on a dress. They took a trip to the Keys and had fun, she said.
In January, her suitor gave her a ring. She said she had it evaluated at a pawn shop and was disappointed to learn its value.
"They checked the stones and said they would not give me five dollars," she said.
In February, she ended the relationship. She said that the man who wined and dined her had allegedly taken $2,500 of her money. Then she discovered everything he said about his personal wealth was not true. She is heartbroken.
"I feel stupid, I feel humiliated, I feel ashamed," she said.
Ironically, On Your Side did a story two years ago with a different victim, Kristina, and it involved the same man Kenneth Vayo. Angela said he told her he was Kenneth Parker until she learned his true identity.
In 2016, JSO arrested Vayo on charges of false verification of ownership to a secondhand dealer and unlawful possession of stolen credit or debit cards and theft of goods.
August 2016, he pled guilty and served 31 days in jail.
On Your Side was able to reach Vayo by phone. He said his fling with Angela wasn't a crime.
"It is all lies," he said. "She loaned me a couple of hundred bucks. I haven't committed any crime."
Angela sees it differently. She said she was swept off her feet with empty promises and then left heartbroken with a financial loss.
"I am a very caring person, a very helpful person and he knew that," she said.
She said her online dating days are over. She intends to press charges against Vayo and has contacted the detective that investigated the case involving Kristina in 2016.