Viewers of the current Netflix series The Tinder Swindler have been shocked by the way con man Shimon Heyada Hayut has relieved a string of women of their savings. Worse still the victims have taken out loans to gift the Israeli citizen so he can continue living a life of luxury – at their expense.
Known by various names including Simon Leviev the handsome criminal has created elaborate ruses to fool women into falling in love with him and to then help him out when his credit lines are stopped. Claiming his credit card has been rejected – despite being the son of a billionaire and heir to a diamond business – having gained the trust of the gullible women – he persuades them to temporarily loan him cash.
As Netflix screened the shocking details and tragic females duped by Shimon there was a backlash on social media as women viewers vented their anger on behalf of the victims. The normally flamboyant show-off reacted by suddenly taking a low profile and deleting his Instagram site. Normally he poses by private jets, in expensive restaurants or by flashy cars – but fearing for his safety Shimon has shown he is fearful of the army of angry viewers.
He has already shown his true self when one of his victims turned the tables on him by tricking him into giving her a temporary loan. Shimon pretended it had ruined him and he was living on the streets as he cried down the line to his female tormentor.
Incredibly the law has not taken a hard line on him despite fraudulently extracting more than £7 million from a number of women. He has been was arrested and charged with fraud, theft, and forgery and was sentenced to five months in prison in 2020 in Finland. Back in Israel Shimon’s notoriety may be his weakness as he is now internationally recognisable.
How did he do it? Shimon would shower the women he met on the Tinder dating app with expensive trips and fabulous gifts, using the money he had taken from his other victims. After a coffee and a chat he would take his victim off on a private jet to a five star hotel abroad – giving the impression he really was incredibly rich. Hooked – the women refused to believe anything else other than he was rich playboy who would give them a life of luxury. That is until he had fooled them into letting him use their credit cards.
If you think you have been a victim of a romance scam, do not feel ashamed or embarrassed – you are not alone. Contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via actionfraud.police.uk. If you are in Scotland, please report to Police Scotland directly by calling 101.
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