OTTAWA -- Ontario Provincial Police are investigating after a 64-year-old woman in South Dundas Township was recently defrauded out of close to $45,000 in an online dating romance scam.

The OPP in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry received a call on Wednesday from a resident saying they had been defrauded out of a substantial amount of money by an online dating site.

The OPP said the fraudster claimed he needed to get a large sum of money via Bitcoin to assist him in getting a consignment box released by Puerto Rican custom authorities.

OPP Const. Tylor Copeland tells CTV News Ottawa the funds were recently transferred to the fraudster. Copeland adds the fraudster has not been located, and investigators are trying to determine where they are.

In a media release, police warn criminals use romance scam to find potential victims online, generally single or recently unattached people of all ages.

"In some cases, prolonged interaction with individuals has cost some victims tens of thousands of dollars before the 'relationship' suddenly ends, usually without ever meeting in person. Among the most vulnerable are seniors," said the OPP.

Ontario Provincial Police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre have some tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of the romance scam.

• First, ask yourself – "Would someone I have never met, really declare their love for me after only a few letters or emails?" If the answer is no, report it to police.

• Don't give out any personal information in an email or when you are chatting online. Educate yourself. Check the person's name, the company name, and the addresses used.

• Never send money, or give personal credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust. A request to send money to a foreign country or to someone you have never personally met should be a red flag.

• Check website addresses carefully. Scammers often set up fake websites with addresses that are very similar to legitimate dating websites.