By: Pam Zamora
I just watch THE TINDER SWINDLER, and, wow, what a ride! Going into this Netflix documentary, I wasn’t expecting this story to have a twist with a shocking ending. Nowadays, it's incredibly common to use Tinder to meet other single people, and find love. The three women in this story were on the Tinder app to find just that, but, unfortunately, they found Simon Leviev instead - AKA THE TINDER SWINDLER. His real name is Shimon Hayut, and he has been posing as the son of Lev Leviev, a diamond mogul known as the “King of Diamonds.” Simon would portray a fancy lifestyle with lavish dinners, four-star hotels, private jets, luxury cars, and over-the-top parties.
One of Simon’s victims was Cecilie Fjellhoy from Norway. Cecille considered herself a Tinder expert, and admits she was on the app to find true love. She was sure she found the one with Simon, a billionaire’s son who would send her gifts, like a bouquet of flowers. So of course she accepted when he asked her to be his girlfriend. One night, he sends her a video of his bodyguard, bloodied and beaten. Shortly after, Simon makes up a story about needing money, since he can’t use his credit card for security reasons, and that’s when Cecille sends Simon money that thought was going towards keeping him safe. Instead, she lost $200,000 from the lies and deception of the relationship. Cecille took out multiple loans, and maxed out her credit cards to prove her love for Simon. However, that was not enough for him, and soon she saw his true colors.
Pernilla Sjoholm, a woman Simon had had a platonic relationship with, was his second victim. They matched on Tinder in Stockholm in 2018. At first their relationship felt like a fairy tale, but, sure enough it was all just a hoax. Simon was claiming that his life was in danger, and that needed money so he could escape from the men who were after him. Pernilla ends up being scammed for $45,000, and is working on re-paying her loans. Cecille and Pernilla end up discovering about one another, and team up to take Simon down.
Ayleen Charlotte, who also dated Simon, discovered her boyfriend was not the man she had thought he was. Ayleen discovered Simon had conned Pernilla and Cecille out of thousands of dollars, thanks to an article about the conman. She goes on to realize that she, herself, had been scammed for $140,00. But instead of being heartbroken, she got even with him by pretending to be a loyal girlfriend so that she could have access to his designer clothing, and sell it for the profits. That leaves Simon with no money to fend for himself, and he is forced to live out of hostels, and eat food from the trash. Ayleen has estimated $10,000 in profits from Simon’s designer clothes and shoes, and to this day, she is still selling his possessions on Ebay.
This documentary serves as way to make single people aware of people like Simon, who are only on Tinder to lie to others, and take advantage of them. We live in a time where anybody can create a fake profile, and fake their lifestyle. The documentary was very intriguing; Simon is a character who basically uses these women to support his lavish lifestyle... with other women. I urge you to check out the documentary, streaming now on Netflix. If the con lifestyle really intrigues you then check out Inventing Anna, the true story of fellow scammer, Anna Delvey.
THE TINDER SWINDLER is streaming on Netflix now.