Woman’s Quest to Uncover the Truth Behind Online Love Turns into a Gripping Tale of Deception

Woman’s Quest to Uncover the Truth Behind Online Love Turns into a Gripping Tale of Deception

Anna Akbari, a sociologist residing in California, recently shared her harrowing experience of falling for an online persona named Ethan Schuman, who turned out to be a woman named Emily orchestrating a complex scheme of deception.

Their interaction began innocently enough on a dating site in 2011, where Anna, then living in New York City, felt an instant connection with Ethan, who claimed to be a 35-year-old mathematician from New Jersey.

Despite never meeting in person, their online exchanges were intense and intimate, with Ethan spinning a web of convincing lies about his life, career, and health.

He claimed to be battling cancer, using this as a reason to avoid meeting Anna face-to-face. However, as doubts began to creep in, Anna embarked on a mission to uncover the truth behind Ethan’s facade.

Unraveling the Deception

Anna’s investigation revealed a shocking truth: Ethan was actually Emily, a woman who had duped multiple women into believing they were in a relationship with a charming man.

With over 10 victims across the country, Emily’s elaborate deception shattered the lives of those who fell for her ruse.

Anna chronicled her ordeal in a forthcoming book titled “There Is No Ethan: How Three Women Caught America’s Biggest Catfish,” shedding light on the sinister world of online deception.

In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Anna shared the details of her tumultuous journey, from the initial infatuation with Ethan to the devastating revelation of his true identity.

She described Ethan as charismatic and articulate, traits that made his deception all the more convincing.

Despite never meeting in person, Anna felt a deep connection with Ethan, believing their relationship had the potential for something real.

The Deceptive Charade

Ethan’s web of lies extended to every aspect of his supposed life, from his education and career to his personal struggles.

Anna was captivated by his fluency and attention to detail, unaware that she was being manipulated by someone with sinister intentions.

As weeks turned into months, Ethan’s excuses for avoiding a meeting grew more elaborate, culminating in the shocking revelation of his supposed battle with cancer.

Anna’s suspicions grew, prompting her to delve deeper into Ethan’s background. She discovered inconsistencies in his stories and began reaching out to others who had interacted with him.

Through a collaborative effort with fellow victims, including Gina Dallago, Anna pieced together the truth behind Ethan’s facade.

Their investigation led them to Emily, the mastermind behind the elaborate catfishing scheme.

Seeking Closure and Justice

While uncovering the truth provided a sense of closure for Anna and the other victims, it also left them grappling with a mix of emotions.

They confronted Emily about her deception, demanding answers for the pain she had caused. However, Emily’s motives remained elusive, leaving Anna and others questioning why she chose to deceive them.

Despite the emotional toll of their ordeal, Anna hopes that sharing her story will spark important conversations about internet safety and the prevalence of online deception.

Through her forthcoming book, she aims to shed light on the dangers of trusting strangers in the digital age and empower others to recognize and confront similar scams.


Anna Akbari’s journey from romance to revelation serves as a cautionary tale about the perils of online relationships and the ease with which individuals can be deceived. By exposing the truth behind Ethan’s facade, Anna and her fellow victims have taken a stand against deception and forged a path toward healing and empowerment.

As her memoir prepares to hit shelves, Anna’s story serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of vigilance and skepticism in the face of digital deception.

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