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Waukesha woman scammed out of $75,000 after thinking she was sending money to soap opera star

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WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A Waukesha woman is out $75,000 after falling victim to an online scam.

Brenda, whose last name we're withholding, was going through a rough time in her life when she reached out to Jack Wagner on Twitter, a soap opera actor who starred in 'General Hospital and 'The Bold and the Beautiful.'

She says she messaged his verified account, as well as a different account that appeared to be him.

Brenda talked with the person on the other end every day, and she says they were in a loving, romantic relationship.

"By talking to the celebrity that I had a crush on for many years and loved dearly, [it] would make me feel important, boost up my destroyed self-esteem," she said.

It didn't take long for the subject of money to come up, and she followed his instructions to send money through transfer services like Western Union, and deposit cashier's checks in multiple accounts.

Despite losing $75,000 in total, she still has no doubt the money went to Wagner.

"I believe in my heart and soul this is the real person," Brenda said. "If he pays me back with love, that's a payback too."

Jim Temmer, the president and CEO of the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau, says romance scams like this are common, even if they don't usually involve celebrities.

"It's difficult when people think with their emotions instead of their head, when they think they're in love, but by all means don't send tens of thousands of dollars to someone you've never met," he said.

Brenda says she had some suspicions, and friends warned her too, but she stands by her choice to send the money.

"He was my best friend, and I believed in him," she said.

Wagner could not be immediately reached for comment.

Brenda says she still regularly talks to the person she sent the money to.

The investigation remains ongoing. 

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