Anyone watching The Tinder Swindler right now will have found themselves embroiled in the Netflix true crime drama’s gripping narrative – and now, a GoFundMe page has been set up for the show’s namesake’s victims.
The extremely binge-able show first dropped last Wednesday 2 February on the streaming platform. It centres around a group of women who were scammed out of millions of pounds by one con artist, Shimon Heyada Hayut (operating under the false name and persona of “Simon Leviev”) who worked with a network of other professional scammers who helped deceive and defraud them.
Hayut – in his persona of Leviev – would seduce his victims over dating apps (hence the Tinder Swindler nickname), obtain loans or credit in their names and then leave them paying the bill. He masqueraded as the son of Lev Leviev, a wealthy diamond trader (Lev is an actual person – to add to the confusion), and pretending he worked for his father’s company.
He’d take his victims on private jets, introduce them to his “bodyguard” and treat them to expensive dinners and holidays – the sort of lifestyle that typically only a son of a wealthy Russian oligarch could afford – before sophisticatedly cheating them out of their money. It’s believed he cheated his victims out of a total of $10 million (£7.4 million) – “dating” several women at a time and remaining elusive due to his fabricated jet-set career.
That is, until he was found out. Hayut was discovered and arrested in 2019, and later sentenced to 15 months in jail – but released after just five in May 2020.
Meanwhile, the story’s still not over for those he targeted. As the three scam victims featured in the show share, they are still paying off their debts at time of writing. And for those who have been moved by the story, who want to come to their aid, it’s now possible to do so via their GoFundMe page.
The Tinder Swindler GoFundMe Page
Cecilie Fjellhøy, Pernilla Sjoholm and Ayleen Charlotte have joined together to recuperate their money via an online fundraising page. Their fundraising target, which enumerates all the debt they have yet to pay, is £600,000.