The recession has not been kind to "Sweet Anezka's" a lingerie shop in Westhampton Beach.
So when a woman pulled up in a yellow Porsche and plunked down $2,500 bucks on underwear, owner Anezka Jurckova was willing to trust a customer she'd never met before.
"She's like well now because my husband passed away I don't have a credit card anymore, can I give you a check? I said ok, if you have a driver license, its fine," Jurckova said.
But it didn't take long for that check to bounce.
Police say "Sweet Anezka's" bitter loss was just the beginning.
In the summer of 2009, investigators say 63-year-old Nydia Vega flimflammed her way across the Hamptons, to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.
"She drove fancy cars, had numerous addresses that we found, so she was doing good," police said.
It was all a sham, say detectives, designed to convince unsuspecting shopkeepers to accept personal checks worth little more than the paper they were printed on.
One, for $32,000 worth of patio furniture at a store in Southampton, which cops say Vega used to furnish a home she rented in Westhampton.
When she couldn't pay a contractor who worked on the house, police say she wrote a bad check to buy him an $18,000 Harley, in Riverhead.
"She just seemed like an eccentric lady that played the part very well," said Mike Chornoma, of Eastern Harley-Davidson.
Investigators say the con continued far from the Hamptons.
From the richest enclaves of Manhattan to Philadelphia's ritzy Rittenhouse Square, where she allegedly scammed her way into a $5.3 million condo.
Even to New Hope Pennsylvania, where a jewelry store says Vega stole merchandise worth $150,000.
Most recently, she was down on the Jersey Shore, finally arrested after she failed to pay her bill at a Belmar restaurant.
She'd been staying, with her dog, at a $49 a night motel.
Since 1976 police say Vega has been arrested 45 times.
They say she uses 17 aliases, including Newbauer, Reeves and Rothschild.
She somehow has four social security numbers and two dates of birth.
in the Hamptons, Anezka has lost hope she'll get her money back.
The lesson she learned, was very valuable.
"I learned the hard way. Now no more checks accepted in this store," Jurckova said.