He met her on a dating website, police said, told her he was a federal law enforcement officer and persuaded her to lend him more than $3,000 -- because his vehicle had been repossessed.
Nassau County police said she did, only to learn the check he'd given her was a fake.
Jose Ruela, 44, of 126 Smith St., Holbrook, is under arrest, facing charges of third-degree grand larceny, second-degree possession of a forged instrument and first-degree criminal impersonation.
Arrested at his residence Thursday, Ruela is scheduled for arraignment Friday in First District Court in Hempstead.
Police said Ruela met his victim, identified only as a 44-year-old woman, on a dating website -- then met her in person on July 24 on Hillside Avenue in Williston Park.
Ruela told the woman he was a U.S. marshal and a retired NYPD officer, police said, then convinced her to lend him $3,200. She gave him the cash, police said, and, in exchange for that cash Ruela gave the woman what she thought was collateral, but which police said turned out to be the fraudulent check -- and title to a vehicle Ruela no longer owned.
Police said the woman learned of the scheme when she tried to cash the check on Aug. 2 and the bank told her it was fraudulent.