The Facts Behind Tinder Swindler, The Notorious Conman Who Scammed Women For Over $10M

What has been the worst date you’ve ever been on? Was a boring talk and foul breath part of it? Or was it a case of you being duped out of a quarter-million dollars? The Tinder Swindler’s ladies may have a little higher standard for a “poor date.” The new Netflix documentary follows the story of a well-known conman who allegedly exploited the Tinder dating app to enjoy a lavish lifestyle while scamming women all over Europe.

Who Is The Tinder Swindler Exactly?

Shimon Hayut, the so-called Tinder Swindler, is a convicted fraudster from Israel. Hayut met many women on dating apps, then arranged lines of credit and loans in their names, leaving them with the bills.

How Did He Get Away If He Was Already Convicted of Fraud?

Hayut seems content to switch identities like a demonic Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can in order to keep his plot operating. Under his birth name, he was convicted of fraud in Finland, but he carried out his Tinder con under the name Simon Leviev, claiming to be the son of billionaire diamond tycoon Lev Leviev. After his identity was disclosed in a VG exposé, he allegedly changed his name to David Sharon to avoid detection.

So What Was The Scam All About?

Hayut appears to have followed a pattern: he would match with a lady on Tinder, take her on a costly and impressive first date (in Cecilie Schrder Fjellhy’s instance, a trip on a private aircraft), and gradually establish their relationship while secretly dating other women while flying around the world. Hayut’s accusers claim that at one time, he confided in them that he was afraid about a nebulous gathering of his “enemies” approaching. To add to the fear, he would eventually send a photo of his bleeding bodyguard, who was purportedly hurt by these opponents. Once that foundation was established, he would hurriedly message each “girlfriend” to inform her that his credit card could not be used due to security concerns, and that she should open a new one in her name for him to use. He was off to the races after that.

Image credits: netflix

What Is The Total Amount That He Stole?

According to The Times of Israel, the cost is projected to be $10 million. Hayut would avoid paying his debtors by cajoling, threatening, and otherwise delaying them: He developed a practise of sending increasingly bizarre WhatsApp voice messages, including one to the filmmakers after he discovered The Tinder Swindler’s existence.

How Was He Caught?

When Ayleen Koeleman, one of Hayut’s long-term girlfriends, saw the VG piece, she turned the tables on him. Hayut had to take a vacation from jet-setting and lay low after the story went viral. He sought assistance from Koeleman, the only lady who appeared to trust him, but she was well ahead of him. Koeleman eventually persuaded him that she could make money by selling his luxury clothes, and she retained the money, swindling the Tinder Swindler herself. She deduced that Hayut was going to Greece after some rapid detective work and reported his flight information to the authorities. In Israel, he was caught in 2019 and sentenced to 15 months in prison for fraud.

Now That He Has Been Caught, Is Tinder Safe To Use?

After only five months in prison, Hayut was released. At the end of the documentary, we see Hayut living the same opulent lifestyle he did before going to prison, complete with a new girlfriend — despite the fact that he’s never stopped swiping right before.

Watch The Trailer For Tinder Swindler Here:


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