In his hit single, "Online," Brad Paisley sings about a man who pretends to be someone he's not on the Internet. Recently, the country superstar and his wife experienced what it's like to be on the receiving end of such a ruse when they were lured into an online cancer hoax.
Paisley and "Nashville" actress Kimberly Williams sat down with ABC's "Nightline" and opened up about being conned by a woman named Carrie Kahler who claimed her daughter, Claire, was dying of pediatric cancer. It all began with an email from Kahler saying Claire had begged her to get in touch with the actress. Williams said she would love to speak to the little girl.
The "Father of the Bride" star, who married Paisley in 2003, has two sons: William "Huck," 6, and Jasper, 4, and as a mother, the story hit home. She and her husband have also long been supporters of St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
For 10 days, Williams communicated back and forth with Kahler via emails, phone calls and texts. She received photos of the girl along with journal entires and songs the child supposedly recorded for her. Paisley even got on the phone and sang her "Amazing Grace." But things took a turn after Kahler said Claire had died and Williams asked where to send flowers.
"She said, 'Oh, don't. Just send a donation to your local children's hospital,'" Paisley told ABC. "I mean I had, like, a physical reaction. Every red flag went up. And I remember just looking at people around me ... 'Who is it? How many people were involved in this scam? And are they right here, are they watching me right now?'... This person was crazy."
According to ABC, other celebrities have come forward with disturbingly similar stories, including the band Little Big Town and Kate Gosselin. "Nightline" eventually tracked down the individual behind the scam at a Wyoming campground.
Celebrities being victims of "catfishing" -- or the act of making up a false identity online in order to trick someone -- made headlines last year when San Diego Chargers' Manti Te'o was catfished by a young man he knew who pretended to be a girl dying of leukemia. Te'o considered her his girlfriend.
Paisley and Williams along with others share their stories on a special episode of "Nightline" on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 12:35 a.m. ET.