A woman who was looking for Mr Right online thought she had met the love of her life – until he turned out to be a 55-year-old divorcee.
However, love soon struck between lovelorn Emma Perrier and the man in the photo that was used to dupe her in the first place.
The 35-year-old restaurant manager grew suspicious of her handsome beau, named Ronaldo, after he came up with regular excuses not to meet her face to face.
So Emma she turned detective and found out ‘Ronaldo’ was actually a “bored and lonely” shop fitter from Stratford-upon-Avon called Alan Stanley.
She had been ‘catfished‘ – web slang for the practice of using snaps of better looking people to lure other social media users into online relationships.
But Emma wasn’t going to just let it lie and instead she decided to find the man whose image Alan had pinched.
She discovered the handsome face she had fallen for belonged to 35-year-old model Adam Guzel who lived nearly 2,000 miles away in Turkey.
Now, in a remarkable twist of fate, Emma and Adam have met and fallen for each other and they want to thank Stanley for bringing them together.
Emma, from Richmond, SW London, revealed: “At first I hated Alan for duping me and was shocked to discover his real identity.
“But now we are grateful he tricked me as it led me to finding the love of my life.”
She added: “I hope my story serves as a cautionary tale to others.
“I was lucky it led to me finding love but most people just end up heartbroken.
“I thought I was talking to a 35-year-old model and he was actually a 55-year-old man.”
Emma, from Richmond, SW London, joined online dating site Zoosk in September 2015 because her anti-social restaurant hours made it difficult to meet new people.
She quickly received a message from ‘Ronaldo Scicluna’ who was tall dark and handsome and was was blown away by his picture and the pair soon dated online for about a year.
However, after he constantly found excuses not to meet, she downloaded Reverse Image – an app that traces pictures – in September 2016 and the truth was devastating.
She confronted Ronaldo online who confessed and apologised.
Emma said: ”He admitted he was a dad, over 50 and divorced.
“He said he found ‘Ronaldo’s’ pictures online and used them as he thought no one would talk to him if he used his own.”
However, after tracing the pictures back to a Twitter account for Adam Guzel, Emma tracked him down on Facebook and sent him a message that read: “We don’t know each other but a year ago I met a guy online who was using your pictures and pretended to be you under a different name.
“I wasn’t sure if getting in touch with you was a good idea but I just need you to know.”
The pair soon began chatting and after three months they set up a video call.
Emma explained: “I wanted to know it was really him after all this time. He agreed. I was so nervous, but when I saw his face I was hysterical.
“It was really him. The man I had fallen for with was real. His English was perfect too.”
Adam told Emma he was a model and aspiring actor in Turkey and for seven months, the pair spoke nearly every day.
Now Adam has moved 2,000 miles to be with Emma in Richmond after they fell in love.
Speaking of Alan, Adam said: “I knew there were people in Turkey stealing my identity but I had no idea it was happening in the UK too.
“I don’t know what to say about Alan. Sometimes what he did makes me angry, but sometimes I feel grateful to him because I would never have met Emma.”
Emma added: “I was so nervous at the airport when I went to pick him up.
“He came up to me smiling, and we hugged. I burst into tears.
“Now we are taking each day as it comes, but I have never been happier.”
Alan has admitted his actions were wrong and wished the pair the best.
He said: “I knew she wouldn’t talk to me as Alan, that’s why I used the photos. I know what I did was wrong and felt guilty but the more she involved me, the harder it was to admit what I’d done.
“I was going through a low point and wanted someone to talk to. But I think it’s brilliant Emma and Adam have met, it’s almost like fate.”
Emma added: “I hope Alan meets someone nice too who will love him for who he really is.”
Top pic: SWNS