Many Netflix viewers have been captivated by The Tinder Swindler since last week. That documentary is about Shimon Hayut (31), who managed to defraud several women through Tinder for millions of dollars. The stories the women tell about him are bizarre, but perhaps even more bizarre is that he is currently at large and seems to be happily continuing his luxurious life. Shimon, also known by the pseudonym Simon Leviev, has now also responded to the documentary.
In The Tinder Swindler, three women – one Swedish, one Norwegian and Dutch – tell how they were ripped off by Shimon after being a match on Tinder. He pretended to be the son of a wealthy diamond magnate and made all kinds of promises, from expensive trips to living together. Once a strong bond was established, he pretended to be in trouble and in need of money.
The women helped “Simon” with huge sums, with the idea of getting all the money back later. In reality, that didn’t happen and he spent it on his luxurious life with other women, leaving the victims with huge debts and many question marks.
the heroes of The Tinder Swindler pic.twitter.com/AbcgCL6dAM
— Netflix (@netflix) February 8, 2022
Shimon, from Israel, was wanted in several countries and was on the run for years. He had previously been in Finnish prison for his defrauding and fraud cases and was arrested again in 2019. To the great frustration of his victims, he was released after five months and since then he has surrounded himself again with expensive cars, dinners and hotel rooms, according to images at the end of the documentary. He was recently banned from Tinder along with all his aliases.
It may not surprise you, but Shimon seems to deny the stories of the women in the documentary, NME reports, among others. On his now-deleted Instagram account, he recently wrote: “Thank you for your support. I will share my side of the story in the coming days when I have found the best and most respectful way to tell it, both for the parties involved and myself. Until then, please keep an open mind and heart.”
He went on to say: “They should have arrested me while we were still recording. It’s high time the ladies started telling the truth. If you can’t give them the world, they want to see yours turn into hell. Friday I will speak to the whole world. Stay tuned and tag others.”
Cecilie, Pernilla and Ayleen, the women who speak in the Netflix docu, have now started a fundraising campaign for the victims of Shimon. “The past few days have been like a whirlwind and we have been completely shocked by the support and compassion from everyone.” They indicate that they have been asked several times if there was a fundraising campaign and when they saw that fake crowdfundings were being created, they decided to open a real one.
“We don’t want any more people to be scammed. We realize there are a thousand other charities to donate to and we are forever grateful if you choose to donate to this one. All we want is our life back.” The counter currently stands at more than 70,000 pounds (about 83,000 euros).
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