Police say a Nanaimo woman bilked for $15,000 by a man she thought was in love with her has been forced to delay her retirement due to the cold-hearted scam.

Nanaimo RCMP say the 67-year-old woman, who they’ve dubbed “Mary” to protect her identity, first received a Facebook message from a man using the name Kevin Rand in January.

The man claimed to be a high-ranking officer in the U.S. military who was stationed in Turkey.

Investigators say after two months of increasingly personal online conversations, Rand was professing his love to Mary and asked her to marry him.

She told him her feelings were mutual and arranged to quit her job and move to Homestead, Fla. to be with him.

But police say things changed in April, when Rand emailed Mary to ask for $3,000 for a friend’s wife who needed emergency surgery.

She wired the money to him “without blinking an eye,” and soon after he asked her to send more money, saying it was for gold he purchased that was tied up in customs.

She once again obliged, and days later, Rand suddenly disappeared from her Facebook friends list.

“This didn’t have to happen,” Nanaimo RCMP spokesman Const. Gary O’Brien said in a news release. “Mary was planning on retiring soon but realizes now she will need to continue working to recoup from her financial loss.”

O’Brien said there are numerous reports online of a man named Kevin Rand defrauding others worldwide, and that a simple Google search could have revealed it before the damage was done.

For more information on romance scams and other types of frauds, go to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s website