Police are investigating whether a woman in central Japan was scammed into sending around 4.4 million yen ($30,000) to a person who claimed to be a Russian astronaut working at the International Space Station and needing money to return to Earth to marry her.

The 65-year-old woman in Shiga Prefecture, became acquainted with the person on a social networking site in June before they communicated through the Line messaging app. The person repeatedly told her they loved her and proposed marriage, the police said.

The suspect then asked the woman for money as expenses for a rocket and its "landing fees" on Earth, said the police. The woman accepted the request and transferred money to a bank account specified by the person between August and September.

But as the person continued to ask her for money, she consulted the police.

International Space Station pictured in October 2018. (Photo courtesy of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration)(Kyodo)