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How far will classy taste and expensive clothes take a con artist in scamming women on the grounds of romance? Apparently, millions.
You probably heard about or seen Netflix’s documentary, “The Tinder Swindler”. It easily rose up to Netflix’s trending films and has been the talk of the town since its release. This article gives a comprehensive summary of our in-depth research about Simon Leviev and the swindle on Tinder, plus how to protect yourself from (Tinder) swindlers.
“I was attracted to the Tinder Swindler” – The Perfect Tinder Profile
Simon Leviev has been infamously dubbed as the “The Tinder Swindler”. Why? Simply because his main platform for finding victims was the dating app Tinder.
Why Simon Leviev’s Tinder Profile was the Perfect Bait
Simon Leviev’s Tinder profile exhibits the full package. The photos he used on his Tinder profile showed an A-listers lifestyle – wearing dapper suits, flying a plane, and sitting on a yacht’s hash. Plus, Simon had his Instagram linked on his Tinder profile, which is a plus for women who vet for a person’s authenticity.
Simon Leviev’s Tinder was just a teaser to the life he led. His Instagram showed so many followers and photos that prove his wealth. His photos showed class by dressing very stylishly, many business meetings, a-lister parties, and traveling around the world in private jets.
Simon Leviev’s profile showed what could be considered as the full package of the perfect gentleman, which was hard to find from dating apps. And this – reeled in women who were looking for the right man.
Who is The Tinder Swindler Simon Leviev?
An Israelite, Simon Leviev was born as Shimon Yehuda Hayut. He moved from home to New York with his family friends where he did his known earliest fraudster stint. Shimon Hayut stole blank checks from the parents of a 4-year old whom he was babysitting.
Another stint was when he worked as a gardener and stole a checkbook. Shimon wrote himself a 250,000 NIS check to buy a Porsche.
A few months later, he sold the Porsche to pay for a flight course. So yes, he can fly a plane.
With these fraudulent acts, he fled to Israel to escape authorities and get himself a fake passport. Using a fake passport, Shimon fled to Europe to confuse the authorities of his whereabouts.
Swindling his way through Europe, he was arrested in Finland in 2015 for charges relating to defrauding several women. It is unclear if he met these women through Tinder. In his arrest, authorities found several fake IDs, flight permits, and American Express credit cards which further helped the case leading to his sentence of 3 years in prison.
Yet due to good behavior, Simon was released a year early. He then fled back to Israel where he was recharged and sentenced. However, authorities weren’t able to arrest him as he flew back to Europe after legally changing his name to Simon Leviev.
The Identity of Simon Leviev, the Fake Son of Lev Leviev
Shimon used many aliases to con different kinds of people. But in 2017, he threw away the Hayut legacy by legally changing his name to Simon Leviev. The reason behind this name change is to prepare for his grand con scheme. Simon used the last name Leviev in order to pretend that he’s the son of Israeli diamond mogul Lev Leviev.
Being the fake son of Lev Leviev, he was able to build an image of a man who comes from generational wealth and someone who has many enemies due to the nature of their family business – which has helped in the narrative he used for swindling his victims.
The Tinder Swindler Narrative: How Simon Leviev Made Women Fall in Love
Posing as a wealthy gentleman, Simon Leviev invited his matches to go on dates in 5-star hotels. He would pay for the expensive meal and give these women a peek into his expensive lifestyle.
The True Story of Cecilie – Simon Leviev’s Ex-Girlfriend & Victim
As soon as Cecilie Schrøder Fjellhøy – considered the “whistleblower” of the Tinder Swindler scam – and Simon Leviev matched on Tinder, Simon almost immediately sent a message to Cecilie asking to meet. He asked Cecilie to meet him at the Four Seasons Hotel in London for coffee.
According to Cecilie, Simon emitted a confident personality that it’s hard not to get attracted to him. “He has this magnetism. There’s something about this guy that is special.” And – to further establish that he comes from wealth, one of the first topics of their conversation was his work. He told Cecilie that he was the CEO of LLD Diamonds and he got the position from his father, Lev Leviev.
Of course, Lev Leviev is a real person and LLD Diamonds is a real company.
With a family photo of Simon beside Lev Leviev and his wife, it was hard not to believe what Simon was telling Cecilie. Also, Cecilie mentioned in the documentary that Simon soon shared personal stories which she appreciated. He was appealing to Cecilie’s emotions – probably showing that he was still a relatable man even with all that wealth.
Yet Simon, being a “busy man” had to leave London to go on a business trip out of the country. He asked Cecilie if she wanted to join him. Over the moon with this one in a million chance experience, Cecilie found Simon’s company very warm and enjoyable that she agreed to fly with him to Bulgaria on his private jet.
Right after that short trip, Simon Leviev carried out romantic gestures even though he was far away from Cecilie. They frequently exchanged texts and voice chats and Simon would send expensive bouquets. Whenever Simon was in London, they’d meet up. It wasn’t long till Simon asked Cecilie to become his girlfriend, to which Cecilie, of course, said yes.
Safe alternatives to Tinder
Why It Was Easy for Simon Leviev to Deceive His Victims
Simon Leviev carefully set the foundation of his narrative – right from his Tinder profile, he managed to make himself like the real deal. When women vet him for a date, his Instagram profile already shows the life he lived. His Instagram showed that he was a real person.
Then, during the date, he makes women believe that he really comes from wealth by taking them to five-star hotels (supposedly to show where he is staying) and talking about his work and family. If women search for the company, they’d be able to see in Google that LLD Diamonds exists – and Simon’s last name is related to it.
With this kind of presentation – rather, showmanship – it would be hard not to buy in that Simon Leviev’s is the real deal.
How Simon Leviev Scammed Three Confirmed Women
Cecilie, being Simon’s girlfriend can already see a future with Simon. Heck, she was already scouting for apartments where they can live together. But, little did Cecilie know that whenever Simon was traveling, he was meeting up with other women from different countries.
Even when Simon has made it official with Cecilie, Simon met Pernilla in Sweden. He also took her on a date in a five-star hotel, but the romance did not blossom. Instead, they became good friends who would spend time together partying and traveling. Pernilla mentioned in the documentary that Simon really lived the high life – they travel in private jets, held parties in yachts, ate in very expensive restaurants, rode Rolls Royce, basically enjoying luxury.
But what Pernilla didn’t know was that the money Simon Leviev was spending was Cecilie’s credit line and cash that Cecilie received from quick cash loans.
Tinder Swindler Scam Was a Ponzi Scheme
Simon Leviev’s scam operated in a Ponzi Scheme. To understand it better, here’s a breakdown of his narrative:
- “It’s a match!“ – Simon asks the woman on a date in a cafe/restaurant of a five-star hotel.
- First Date – Simon lays the groundwork for his romantic scam.
- Love-Bombing – Simon showers the woman with love even when he’s not around.
- Fly to Find More Victims – Simon flies to different countries for “business” but in reality, meets different types of women to add to his roster.
- “Enemies are after me” – Simon confides to the women that he is worried about his safety. He appeals to women’s empathy by sending a photo of his bleeding bodyguard and his gashed face.
- “My security is compromised” – Simon tells women his accounts are frozen due to a safety compromise and he needs to borrow cash and credit cards. These women, trusting Simon lend him money. Simon then sends a check a little over the initial money borrowed to further gain the women’s trust that he will pay future loans.
- More, more, more – Simons asks for more credit cards and/or cash, convincing women to take quick loans as he is in real danger and has no access to money. In reality, he uses the money he receives to spoil another woman and keep up with his lifestyle. So technically, other women are paying for his dates, gifts, and private jets.
- Fraud – Women are deep in debt. Simon sends fraudulent checks as repayment and ultimately stalls his victims.
How Was Simon Leviev Caught?
The witch hunt for Simon Leviev’s story started when Cecilie was drowning in unpaid loans and credit card bills. She met with her creditors and found out about Simon Leviev’s past arrests. After doing further research, she was brave enough to go to news outlets and tell her story so other women can be warned about Simon Leviev’s scam scheme.
Journalists quickly picked up on Cecilie’s story and found out about one of Simon’s friends, Pernilla whom he was also loaning money from. Both women put out a brave face and shared their stories to magazines, TV news, and digital outlets – which were met with support and some backlash.
The article soon became viral and found Simon Leviev’s long-time girlfriend, Ayleen. After secretly conversing with Cecilie and Pernilla, Ayleen came up with a swindle of her own.
Convincing Simon that she will always be by his side through thick and thin, Ayleen (who worked in the Luxury Fashion industry) got a portion of her money back by selling Simon’s designer clothes online and keeping the money.
With no money nor help financial help from Ayleen, Simon had to live in hostels and use public bathrooms. Then in 2019, Ayleen deduced that he was flying to Greece and gave his flight information to authorities. He was then arrested and sentenced to 15 months in prison for fraud.
Where is Simon Leviev now?
Five months after his arrest, Simon Leviev became a free man for exhibiting good behavior. Today, he’s living in Tel Aviv with his current girlfriend model Kate Konlin. If he’s swindling Kate Konlin – we’ll never know. However, in Kate Konlin’s social media accounts, she flaunts the gifts she receives from Simon – one being a Lamborghini. In interviews, Kate is confident that Simon did not swindle those women.
Simon’s social accounts show that he’s back on an A-list lifestyle. The money? He said he is a legitimate businessman working in real estate abroad and also offers business consultancy sessions. According to TMZ, Simon Leviev has signed with Hollywood Agent, Gina Rodriguez and plans to start his own dating show.
Simon Leviev stands firm that the women in the Netflix documentary are lying.
He has threatened legal action against Netflix and the producers of Tinder Swindler.
Tinder Swindler Con Man Banned from Tinder
In lieu of Tinder Swindler, Tinder assures women that Simon Leviev and all his aliases are banned from using the dating app. Dating apps under Match Group and Plenty of Fish dating sites have also released statements that Simon Leviev is permanently banned from signing up on their platforms.
The Real Leviev Family Sues Simon Leviev
The real Leviev family sues Simon Leviev (Shimon Hayut) for making false representations and receiving numerous benefits for being a “Leviev”. According to the Leviev family’s attorney, this lawsuit is only the beginning of a number of lawsuits. They are also planning to file a monetary suit against Simon and any other affiliate that will work with him – anyone that will try to capitalise from Simon’s scheme will be sued.
The Effect of the Tinder Swindler on Tinder Dating App
To say that Tinder lost a lot of members after the release of Netflix’s documentary, The Tinder Swindler is absolutely false. In fact, Tinder garnered even more visibility and app activity since its release. To date, its total market share is 72% of all dating apps being used.
We believe that the most notable after effect of the docu’s release is – more and more women are now being careful on meeting others from dating apps as well as the information they share with others. More women are also speaking up on their own experience with scammers and swindlers to warn others of such schemes.
In online dating, vigilance is expected from the get-go, but still, scammers are getting even more creative on their schemes. However, even before Tinder Swindler became viral, Tinder has set security features for its members – with its release of the “Panic Button” when going on dates, message screening tools, and having an Online Safety Center where members can report harassment.
Are There Many Tinder Swindlers in Tinder? What’s the Truth?
Some people have been scammed through online dating apps and websites. Yet, more people have found love or hookups from these platforms. So, it’s safe to say that Tinder Swindler is not the reality when dating online.
Online daters are expected to be careful of what they share and how they interact with other members. All dating apps publish terms and conditions that state they are not liable should something bad happen to their members within the platform. But also, most of these dating apps have security features that can help protect their members from harassment or scams.
How to Spot Red Flags of a Scammer
Scammers are becoming more and more creative these days, but there are general red flags that these people may exhibit.
- Love-bombing – When you just matched with a person and immediately show signs that they are smitten or in love, it can be a tactic of manipulation.
- Their profile is too good to be true – If you find “Prince of Egypt” or something along those lines in a profile bio, it’s most likely an inauthentic profile.
- Big promises – Swindlers or con artists will make you believe that they’ll do anything for you. Big promises such as he’ll take you out on a helicopter ride on your first date, statistically are more of a scam move than a real one.
- Avoids in-person dates – Many scammers lurk online. They pull you in and make you feel like you’re in heaven (whether through words or nude photos) and in return, will ask you for credit card information or straight-up cash. The primary red flag of these con artists is they usually avoid in-person dates. So, if you match with someone and seem really uninterested in seeing you in person, they might have another agenda of talking to you.
3 Important Things to Do When You Think You Are Being Scammed in Online Dating
When you’re seeing red flags from another member, there are three important things to do:
- Stop communication, change passwords, alert your banks (online/physical) especially if you’ve shared some important information.
- Block the user. Buttons for blocking a user are usually accessible and can be found on messaging settings.
- Report the user. After blocking, don’t forget to report the user for his or her fraudulent acts.
Sign up in these reliable and secure dating apps:
Online dating is a whole different world – there are many scams being pulled by non-genuine people... however, there are also online daters who just want to look for a connection, a casual hookup, and even love. Many dating apps today have security features that will keep you safe. Still, it is expected from online daters to keep vigilant from those who take advantage.