APOLLO (KDKA) — An Apollo man says he’s been ripped off in what investigators describe as a sophisticated “mail order bride” scheme. So he decided to reach out to Get Marty for help.

“I need some help. I made a huge mistake,” says 69-year-old Jerry Mentzel.

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Jerry’s story is awful.

His wife of 43 years died from cancer. Jerry was lonely. He found a 24-year-old bride on an Internet site and married her.

“I’m mad at myself. I look in the mirror and say, ‘Why did you do this?” he says.

Jerry brought the 24-year-old Moroccan woman to the Pittsburgh area last year. Before she would agree to the marriage, he was asked to pay $32,000 to her “brother-in-law” in London.

The marriage lasted less than two weeks. Jerry signed off on divorce papers that ordered him to pay his wife alimony.

“I thought she wanted a better life. She wanted a green card,” says Jerry.

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According to the FBI, their Internet Crime Complaint Center receives nearly 6,000 complaints for victims of “romance scams” each year. The FBI reports citizens lose more than $50 million.

“The average victim can be taken for $70,000,” says Dave Abbate with Homeland Security.

Homeland Security officials cannot provide details, but promise they are taking a look at the Mentzel case. In general terms, Homeland Security agents will look into possible fraud charges.

Meanwhile, Jerry is embarrassed.

“I learned my lesson. It’s a tough lesson to learn at 69-years-old,” he says.

If you’d like Marty to help you solve your problem, email him at GetMarty@kdka.com.

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