Netflix's The Tinder Swindler: A Review

Published March 2nd, 2022 - 01:34 GMT
Netflix's The Tinder Swindler: A Review
Art work by Al Bawaba's Rami Khoury

The Tinder Swindler is a British true crime documentary film directed by Felicity Morris and released on Netflix on February 2, 2022. The documentary tells the story of the Israeli conman Simon Leviev (born Shimon Hayut) who used the dating application Tinder to connect with individuals who he then emotionally manipulated into financially supporting his lavish lifestyle on the pretense he needed the money to escape his "enemies."

Video by Al Bawaba's Rami Khoury

Plot and Background

An Israeli man, born Shimon Hayut, travelled around Europe, presenting himself as the son of Russian-Israeli diamond mogul Lev Leviev. He used the dating app Tinder to contact women as Simon Leviev, and tricked them into lending him money that he never repaid.

He would charm women with lavish gifts and take them to dinners on private jets using money he borrowed from other women he previously conned. He would later pretend he was being targeted by his "enemies", often sending the same messages and images to each woman, indicating that he had just been attacked with a knife, but that his bodyguard had saved him and was hurt.

He then asked his victims to help him financially due to the breach of 'security', allegedly hindering his use of his credit cards and bank accounts; the women would often take out bank loans and new credit cards in order to help. He would then use the money gained through the deception to lure new victims, while essentially operating a Ponzi scheme. 

Later, he would pretend to repay his victims by sending forged documents showing fake bank transfers and then break off contact with the victims. It's estimated that he swindled $10 million from people across the globe.

The documentary viewed by many around the world since its release has received much reactions and views especially by women.

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