The Tinder Swindler is a Netflix documentary movie that presents the story of how 3 women were defrauded by a Tinder date, Simon Leviev. The women, Cecilie Fjellroy, Pernilla Sjoholm, and Ayleen Charlotte, were swindled hundreds of thousands of dollars by Simon. According to authorities, Simon Leviev is believed to have conned over $10 million from his victims all over the world in two years i.e. between 2017 and 2019.
Simon Leviev, real name Shimon Yehuda Hayut, would draw the women in by presenting himself as wealthy attesting that he is the son of a diamonds mogul. He would take the women on lavish first dates as a way to entrench the illusion of his wealth.
The First Date
The first date would be at a five-star hotel. On the date, Simon would suggest that they go on a romantic getaway to another country in Europe. He would then send a Rolls Royce to pick the women and find out their addresses in the process. For the trip, Simon would charter a private jet and take his newfound victim to an apartment in a city like Amsterdam where he would share romance with them.
The Emotional Manipulation of the Tinder Swindler
To draw his victims in even further, Simon would be very emotionally engaged with them. He would present a sensitive, loving, and caring side and create the illusion that he is falling madly in love with the women. His approach would ensure that the victims are primed for the con and are actually in love with him making them very susceptible to being cheated and unknowingly gullible.
The ‘My Enemies are After Me’ Deceit
On gaining the trust of his victims, Simon would then send them pictures of an injured and bleeding friend/associate who the women have seen him with named Peter. He would call in the middle of the night in a panic saying that his enemies are after him. The women would be shocked, distraught, and very worried that his life was in danger. This would make them more susceptible to being willing to help in whatever way possible as they were already in love with him.
The con would then be instigated and Simon would say that his money is held up in the bank or he is waiting for a deal to come to fruition and thus needed some money to escape and be safe and protected from his enemies. The women, now in love with and trusting Simon, would lend him huge sums of money, a figure that averages $25,000.
New Carded Bank Accounts
The way he would do it is by asking the women to open up new bank accounts and send him their credit cards for the new account under their names. He would then go on to spend the money and when the card is maxed, suggest that they take out loans to ensure that he remains safe. On asking for the money, he would vow to return it and be very grateful and loving when he got it. As the credit cards were under the women’s names, they would get notifications and calls for their card being maxed out after having been used to spend exorbitant amounts.
The Ponzi Scheme
Simon would shamelessly spend the money he gets from one victim on other women. By doing this, he would reinforce the illusion that he is wealthy on the women. Moreover, he would create a con that is more of a Ponzi scheme where the money he cons out of these women brings in more women that he would also con. At any point in time, a number of women would be convinced that he is their boyfriend and be sending him money to wade off his enemies and be safe. What they didn’t know is that there were no enemies and they were being conned.
No Consequences for the Notorious Tinder Swindler
Simon Leviev has never been charged for defrauding the 3 women featured in the docu-movie. He was, however, arrested in Finland and imprisoned for 2 years for defrauding other three women. He is today a free man, albeit wanted in Israel and other territories. He lives a lavish life that is seemingly funded by money he kept from his previous cons or that which he has conned other women out of.
A Debt of Love
The 3 women from the movie are still paying debts of tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are broken, angry, and heartbroken from the experience and still traumatized. Their only mistake was looking for love and they are still paying heftily for the evils committed by Simon Leviev. Tinder may seem safe and ‘secure’ but is a cesspool of unknowns and one could easily find themselves a victim of abuse or being conned out of hefty sums of money. Please take care.
In the sense of it being a documentary movie, our rating for the Tinder Swindler is 8/10. It is very interesting and well shot and conceptualized. However, as something that happened to real people who were swindled and conned, we rate the occurrences at 0/10. We also rate the justice system in Europe and internationally at 2/10 for not taking any concrete action against Simon Leviev to this day for the crimes he committed.