If it's too good to be true, will it be?
For any of you who've tried Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, or any other online dating app to find the love of your life, you're constantly worried about the possibility of meeting a fictional alter ego of the man or woman you've envisioned.
The 2010 American documentary Catfish, which also led to the MTV reality series under the same name, explores just that idea. Nev Schulman, a New York photographer, builds a romantic relationship with a young woman on Facebook.
After months of becoming entangled in the lives of an eight-year-old girl who sent him painted versions of his work and her older sister (Megan), Nev finally decides to embark on a journey to rural Michigan to meet the family.
This twisted cyber-romance ends with a woman named Angela, who was posing as her alcoholic daughter Megan.
However, not all catfish stories have to do with romance. For instance, a high school girl and her sister were in contact with a young girl, named Kairi, who lived in Ireland. Kairi was vocal about her terminal illness on Facebook, and there were many comforting messages by family members on her newsfeed. Turns out "Kairi" was the persona of a teenage girl named Megan who did not have cancer. It was an elaborate hoax in order to receive donations and gifts from people.
Emma Perrier, a 33-year-old woman living close to the French Alps, worked long hours and found it difficult to meet men and build a loving relationship. She joined Zoosk, an online dating app, in hopes to find the man of her dreams.
"I am a romantic," Emma told The Atlantic. "I love to love, and I want to be loved too."
Emma met Ronald "Ronnie" Scicluna, a mysterious, humble, and handsome Italian man that was the polar opposite of her previous boyfriend.
Emma learned that Ronnie was also lonely and worked a regular job in England. After countless hours of conversing on WhatsApp, things started getting really fishy.
Emma soon learned that Ronnie does not exist.
What happens when the lie is revealed? You'll be shocked!
Emma learned that Ronnie was the persona of 53-year-old divorcee Alan Stanley, who looked nothing like the man she saw in the photos. She used an app to search the original source of Ronnie's profile picture on Zoosk, which turned out to be a photograph of Adem Guzel, a Turkish model and actor. She confronted Alan, who soon confessed his real identity.
Emma was extremely bothered by this game of deception and wrote a Facebook message to Adam Guzel to let him know that people are using his picture.
Adem replied to Emma, furious about what Stanley did, and had a video chat with her. A few months later, Adem and Emma got back in contact and started a romantic relationship. Adem said he felt like "fate had pulled them together."
Emma had never imagined she would meet and fall in love with the real man she saw on the dating app.
"My catfish became cupid. And now we're living happily ever after."
Share our story and tell us about your catfish experience, if you've had one.