Netflix took the online dating world by storm when it released an eye-opening documentary – The Tinder Swindler. It’s about a man who openly and relentlessly manipulated multiple women by making up outrageous lies about himself, which led to them feeling sorry for him and helping him out by taking loans and sending him money. This is a truly unique story about how extremely deceptive the online dating world can really be.
Many Names, Same Lies
The man of this story currently goes by the name “Simon Leviev,” but that’s not his real name. Simon’s real name is Shimon Yehuda Hayut, and he has conned numerous people in his lifetime to preserve a luxurious life – it’s mind-boggling.
He’s a con-man, and he’s very good at what he does. He has been convicted in the past, got released, and changed his name. Mr. Simon’s new scheme was to lure women by pretending to be a billionaire’s son – uploading luxury photos on his social media posing with jets, yachts, flying around the world eating expensive foods, etc.
On Tinder, he received the attention of many women – some of them let their hearts get the better of them, becoming a pawn in his scheme.
Cecilie Schrøder Fjellhøy – A Woman Looking for Love
Among his victims was Cecilie Schrøder Fjellhøy from Lillestrøm. Like everyone else in today’s lonely world, she was looking for love and a genuine emotional connection. Simon & Cecilie matched instantly on Tinder and met each other. He showed her around his luxurious life, private jets and all, telling her she’s his everything.
After a month of dating, he asked her for a loan because of “security issues.” And Cecilie, looking out for her partner, happily obliged. She had to take multiple loans to help him pay his bills, upwards of $100,000 in total. He promised to pay her back once the “security concerns” were over and later sent her a cheque.
Lo and behold, the cheque wasn’t accepted by Cecilie’s bank. That’s when things started to worry her, and she saw a different side of Simon – a much angrier and aggressive side. She called Amex since she had to make multiple credit cards on her name for Simon and told them the whole story. The representatives saw his photo and instantly recognized him – prompting Cecilie that she’s not the first person he has done this with.
Cecilie wasn’t going to let Simon get away with any of this. She went straight to Verdens Gang, also known as VG, Norway’s most prominent newspaper. She explained her story, and they were interested.
The team at VG did a massive investigation on the man and his past, finding out some pretty shocking truths about him in the process.
Pernilla Sjoholm – A Sweet Girl from Sweden
Another one of Simon’s victims was Pernilla Sjoholm from Sweden. She, much like Cecilie, also went through the same ordeal, more or less. Took loans, applied for credit cards in her name to help him out until “security concerns” were taken care of. Hint: there were no security concerns. He had simply mastered his craft of telling the best lies possible to make people feel for him.
When Pernilla went into debt and asked Simon for money, he said she could take one of his expensive watches and sell it. The watch he gave Pernilla was a fake. The team from VG got in touch with Pernilla, and the rest is history. Cecilie & Pernilla finally met and discussed how they were both victims of one man’s elaborate game.
Ayleen Charlotte – The One Who Laughed at Simon
Ayleen Charlotte is the third victim who spoke in the Netflix documentary. She was the one was did the most damage to Simon in return – making her our favorite. She told Simon that if he needed help with money, she could try selling his luxury outfits because she worked in the luxury fashion industry. Ayleen said in the documentary:
“He never believed that I was capable of doing this; he knows now.”
Simon agreed and gave her all of his expensive clothes. Ayleen sold them and is still selling them online without sending a penny to Simon. While it won’t be nearly as much as what he did to these women, it’s still something.
The Worst Part – People Start Blaming These Women
After the massive VG article came out, it went viral on social media. Soon after it reached virality, people started pointing their fingers at the victims instead of Simon. They were quick to judge these women as gold-diggers and said they only went after a man because he’s showing that he’s rich. In reality, he was the gold-digger manipulating women into paying for his lifestyle!
Simon Gets Caught, Freed 5 Months Later
In 2019, he was arrested in Athens. He served five months and was released because he was very intelligent in his scamming ways. He made sure all of the women involved were “helping” him, he made sure they took out credits cards on their names, he made sure of everything to keep his name safe.
Technically, he never did anything wrong because nothing was directly on his name. He is now a free man and is trying to run a few new “legitimate” businesses.
He Gets Banned on All Dating Apps
In a statement sent to Variety, Tinder spoke on banning Simon from all of their platforms:
“We have conducted internal investigations and can confirm Simon Leviev is no longer active on Tinder under any of his known aliases,”
This includes Tinder and all of the dating apps their parent company, Match Group, owns – basically taking Simon’s playing ground from him. His face is everywhere now, and his profiles get instantly blocked as soon as the app’s system recognizes it. This is one of the most substantial wins against Simon to protect everyone from becoming a victim in the future.
Cecilie, Pernilla & Ayleen Launch a GoFundMe
On February 5, 2022, these three ladies launched a GoFundMe campaign which has now skyrocketed. It has crossed over $100,000 in donations and has gone viral. According to the three women on their GoFundMe page:
“You’re probably here because you’ve heard about our story, and we appreciate you taking the time to search and find this page.”
“The past few days have been a whirlwind, and we three (Ayleen, Pernilla and Cecilie) have been completely shocked and floored by the flood of compassion and support from everyone. The sheer love is more than we ever expected, and we appreciate you all so much.”
“After careful consideration, and many chats, we have decided to start this GoFundMe fundraiser. So many people reached out to us asking if we had one, and it hadn’t occurred to us to make one prior to this. However, we’ve spotted plenty of fakes, which makes us uneasy. We don’t want more people getting defrauded. We realise there are a thousand other worthy causes to donate to, and remain forever grateful if you choose to donate to this one. All we want are our lives back.”
Ayleen, Pernilla and Cecilie”
You can donate to the cause by going to their campaign here.
What Are Your Thoughts?
What are your thoughts on this incredibly eye-opening story? Share your thoughts in the comments down below.