Country superstar Brad Paisley and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, say they fell victim to an online hoax that began with an email from a stranger.
According to ABC News, the Paisleys received the email from a mother who said her daughter was dying of neuroblastoma, a type of cancer that strikes children and is often fatal.
"She said that her daughter had begged her to get in touch with me," Williams-Paisley told ABC News.
The mother continued by saying she had forgotten about her daughter's request amidst everything they were going through.
For the next week and a half, Williams-Paisley, who stars in the hit show "Nashville," corresponded with the mother via email, phone calls and text messages.
Williams-Paisley stated she even received pictures of the girl, named Claire, photos of her supposed diary, and songs she said the girl recorded for her.
At one point, husband and country superstar Brad Paisley sang "Amazing Grace" to Claire over the phone.
"You're singing to someone's dying kid," Paisley recalled in an interview with ABC News, "and in the middle of it, there's no way that's not real. How can that not be real?"
The story unraveled when the mother said her daughter had passed away, but wouldn't give the Paisleys an address to send flowers.
The couple said the mother responded with an email that raised red flags.
It read, "Is this seriously how things are going to end? Wow. If that's how you want it to be I will respect that. I will no longer contact you in any way. If you'd like to contact me that is fine. I'm hurt. Very hurt but lately that seems to be my life. I don't need you to pray for me. Doesn't seem like God hears much of anything these days. Good luck in all you do. Take care of your beautiful family."
It turned out the photos were stolen from a Web site dedicated to a real girl in southern California who suffers from neuroblastoma.
"That's the sickest part about this to me," Paisley told ABC News. "That is the part that when I start to talk about that, that's when I get really mad. That there were real kids, that there were real photos involved."
The Paisleys aren't alone. Other celebrities including Little Big Town, Kate Gosselin and members of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleading squad have fallen victim to similar scams.