The worst thing about catfishing is that you never think it'll happen to you.
Well, this is exactly what radio presenter Kirat Assi has been left struggling with after the revelation that the man she thought she'd been in a long-distance relationship with for over a decade was revealed to be none other than her manipulative female cousin.
It all started in 2009 when Assi first started talking to a Brighton-based cardiologist named Bobby via Facebook.
As a member of Britain's Sikh community, Assi claimed that she had a "very strong network of friends, cousins, uncles and aunties", some of whom were referenced by Bobby in their conversations in order to build trust between the two.
It seemed as if Bobby did everything possible to integrate himself in Assi's life, short of meeting with her face-to-face.
He would chat online with her parents, befriend her friends and coworkers, falsely claim that his brother used to date her second cousin and even post pictures of a baby wearing clothes that Assi had sent over as a present.
It ended up working a treat, and before long their friendship had blossomed into a full-blown relationship; their lives becoming increasingly synchronized in an intimate way.
For three-and-a-half years, the two of them would fall asleep listening to the sound of the other one breathing via Skype headphones - her in London and him in New York.
"I went through two or three sets," she revealed recently to the Daily Mail.
They would often chat, play online Scrabble, and read books to one another.
It seemed perfect, but it couldn't last.
Over time, Bobby's insistence that they become joined like this became controlling and abusive and eventually, she knew that the relationship had to end.
As the relationship began to break down, she started messaging family and friends instructing them to 'block Bobby on their phones' and when one of her younger cousins came over to console her, the truth finally came out.
"I went downstairs, opened the door, I was annoyed with her because she'd lied to me," Assi explained to LBC when reliving the shocking moment that happened in 2018.
"And she was like, 'I'd better not come in', and erm, I was asking her things and basically she just said 'it was all me.'"
"I didn't believe her", she said, adding: "She was my smart baby sister. I was very protective of her, I was very proud of her."
"I literally called out loads of names of lots of people and she said 'it was me, it was me'.
"So who have I been sleeping with on the phone for these past three-and-a-half years? She said, 'me'.
"I collapsed. I was physically sick. She never said why. She just said, 'I was in a dark place' and 'I've ruined my own life, too'."
In 2020, Assi brought a civil action case against her cousin - who she named as Simran Bhogal - which was settled out of court.
Assi's full story has been told in an astonishing podcast series named Sweet Bobby, which has been produced by Tortoise Media.
As a part of the podcast series, investigators worked not only with Assi but also with witnesses, legal experts and other victims of catfishing and they have claimed it is the longest-running and most complex case of catfishing to have come to light.
"She has taken ten years of my life from me, years I will not get back," Assi said.
"In that time I could have met someone real, had a baby. I lost my friends, my job, my savings.
"I opened up to him - her! - telling him things about my hopes, dreams, my childhood, that I'd never tell anyone. I feel violated."