Everyone’s talking about Netflix documentary ‘Tinder Swindler’, the show that exposes an Israeli con-artist from a poor part of town who poses as a wealthy, (private) jet-setting son of a diamond billionaire, on dating site Tinder.
Going by the name Simon Leviev, the fraudster (who was born Shimon Hayut before legally changing his name to pretend to be the CEO of LLD Diamonds), met several women online, mainly from Europe, each of whom he convinced was the one and only love of his life (apart from one woman with whom he remained platonic)… before conning them collectively out of millions (reportedly at least $10-million), pretending that his life was in danger. He had a type of pyramid scheme going by which each woman basically funded his huge romantic gestures to wine and dine his next victim.
Without giving away too much, there are some brilliant moments in the doc, including some brave journalists and the legendary Ayleen, the girlfriend who was dating him at the time the story broke on VG and who helped get him arrested. Many viewers have called her a ‘legend’ for the way in which she is getting her revenge on him.
Although Simon / Shimon only served five months in jail, his life is being impacted by the Netflix show. In the last 24 hours he has removed his Instagram page on which he showed off about his lavish lifestyle, and had gathered 200,000 followers since the show first aired on Netflix on Wednesday.
According to the three women featured in Tinder Swindler, he certainly had some skills – including apparently delivering the “perfect first kiss” and knowing how to listen, really listen, to his dates.
One of his victims – Cecilie Schrøder Fjellhøy – explained he was the “kind of person you want to save” because he appeared to have so much responsibility on his shoulders, with so many people depending on him, that it made him vulnerable.
Cecilie – who some say was the real hero because she had to “put her pride and privacy aside to disrupt a long-time fraudster” – said that on their first night together she could see some marks on his back and asked him about them. He revealed he had been in jail in South Africa. He told her he had been negotiating a diamond deal in SA when the people he was dealing with turned their backs on him and betrayed him. He said he went to jail on “false pretences” because he was actually innocent, and claimed he was “manhandled in jail because he was Jewish”.
I went creepin after I watched #TinderSwindler
Cape Town was dragged for arresting him for diamond smuggling but dude and Peter still had time for sightseeing 🥴🤣🤣🤣
The lady that stole his clothes and ghosted him was the best part of the doc😫🤌🏼 pic.twitter.com/K10r96E2c8
— cam (@cameran_ryan) February 5, 2022
We may never know whether Simon really was in any South African jail, but he appears to have been in Cape Town, with one photo on his former Instagram page showing him and his head of security, Peter, with Table Mountain in the background. But then again, he may have photoshopped the photo like the one he photoshopped with his ‘dad’, billionaire diamond mogul Lev Leviev.
Before deleting his account, Simon/Shimon said on Instagram: “Thank you for all your support. I will share my side of the story in the next few days when I have sorted out the best and most respectful way to tell it, both to the involved parties and myself. Until then, please keep an open mind and heart.”
LLD Diamonds said in a statement: “LLD Diamonds has been a well-regarded leader in the diamond industry for three decades. Our company has no connection whatsoever with Shimon Hayut. He is a fraud who has tried to exploit our good name to con victims out of millions of dollars.
“Our sympathies go out to his victims. His fraud has also caused ongoing confusion about our company. Nothing he has said, about LLD or anything else, should be believed. As soon as we learned of the fraud, we filed a complaint with the Israeli police, and we hope that Mr. Hayut faces the justice he deserves.”
Incredulously Simon was still active on Tinder on Wednesday. However by Friday, the dating app had banned him, and said in a statement to Variety: “We have conducted internal investigations and can confirm Simon Leviev is no longer active on Tinder under any of his known aliases.”
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WATCH The Tinder Swindler Official Trailer
Because I think she’s the real bad-ass, brave hero in this story. She had to crawl for Ayleen to run. Cecilie put her pride and privacy aside to disrupt a long-time fraudster. For that, my hat goes off to her👑👑 #tinderswindler pic.twitter.com/TCTSYcDlH2
— matisse (@matisse_tamu) February 4, 2022
— thamsia (@thamsla) February 2, 2022
The Tinder Swinder *DELETED SCENES pic.twitter.com/uZiOCfC62K
— Donovan Goliath (@DonovanGoliath) February 10, 2022
— MaNgcamane 🐐 (@sibusimaseko) February 4, 2022
— Hlengiwe (@Freshfacedcosmy) February 4, 2022
The first red flag is a single billionaire on tinder. #tinderswindler
— Mother Of Passports (@justrioba) February 4, 2022
The justice system failed those poor women!
Pernilla is a the kind of friend everyone needs!
Cecelie is such a sweetie, I hope she finds the right man.
& Ayleen is a fucking badass, so brave & funny. #tinderswindler pic.twitter.com/YC9HzvaU9p
— hi… i’m octopus… 🇿🇼 (@Mandie_Mayniac) February 4, 2022
Commonsense is not common
1) A billionaire asking for money.
— Francis Waithaka 💙 (@waithash) February 5, 2022
— Georgina (@GinaLouLoves) February 2, 2022