An award-winning journalist who has spent her career writing about the people and places of our time in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, ABC News, Fortune, and Psychology Today, Abby Ellin is an observant student of human nature. Whether at work, in communities, or in relationships, she is quick to understand people, their motives and goals.
So, when her fiancé told her he was a CIA counterterrorism agent and Navy Seal who had orchestrated the raid on Osama bin Laden, why did she believe him?
She was duped and gaslighted. She wrote a book about it—the Amazon bestseller Duped, Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married. In sharing her story of being betrayed by an emotional con artist, she has exposed the world of the unscrupulous and dishonest where the blurry boundaries around truth, trust, and deception affect us all.
Deceptive behavior is everywhere. It could be a colleague who is stealing or a cheating spouse or at the intersection of culture and politics. False information runs rampant in social media. Whistleblowers risk their lives to unveil the truth. Trust is under siege by lying, common treachery and self-deception. People are being gaslighted, making them question reality and trust what someone else says over their own thoughts, perceptions and memory.
The repercussions canbe catastrophic—an abusive relationship or stolen identity. Damage to an organization's reputation, operations, and eventual bottom line that comes with customer distrust after an employee goes rogue and steals data or a CEO is caught defrauding.
Why do people lie? Why do we trust? At work and in life, how can we spot a deep fake and protect ourselves or our business from being duped?
Abby's story and her painstaking research helps shed light on the complex nature of deceit. With characteristic wit and candor, she takes audiences on her journey of being duped, revealing the highs and lows of her experience. She outlines how to identify red flags of common treachery before they develop into full-blown deception and how to avoid falling prey to fraud. If something seems too good to be true, it is. Verify when something doesn't seem right.
A versatile talent, Abby also penned the “Preludes” column about young people and money for the Sunday Money and Business section of The New York Times and is a regular contributor to the Health, Style, Business and Education sections. Her first book is Teenage Waistland: A Former Fat Kid Weighs In On Living Large, Losing Weight and How Parents Can (and Can't) Help.
Keywords: Whistle blower, deception, lying, false identity, women's issues, lying in social media, double lives, deception and relationships, gaslighting