Who is 'The Tinder Swindler'? Swipe right on the Netflix doc about the online dating scammer

A new Netflix documentary has viewers wondering, 'who is the Tinder Swindler?' Inside the crimes of Simon Leviev

Joe Stassi as SIMON LEVIEV in THE TINDER SWINDLER. Who is the Tinder Swindler
(Image credit: Netflix)

Careful who you grant a swipe right to these days: "Who is The Tinder Swindler?" proves that the world of online dating can be quite deceitful. 

An all-new documentary exposes a serial scammer who conned women out of roughly $10 million while wooing them on Tinder. (And you thought your match was problematic.)

Netflix is quite taken with the fraud concept this year—Inventing Anna premiered on February 11 and fictionalizes Anna Delvey's crimes. Simon Leviev (born Shimon Hayut) has also given the streaming service quite a bit to work with. Here's everything you need to know about his story. 

Who is 'The Tinder Swindler'?

Though the serial Tinder user has given himself many monikers, most people know him as Simon Leviev, whose real name is Shimon Hayut. 

Hayut was born in Israel and fled his homeland when he was experiencing fraud charges. He made his way over to Finland in 2015 but spent his time there imprisoned after being charged with the crime of defrauding three women, according to People

Two years later, he returned home—but not for long. Before his cover was blown, he ventured to Europe and took on the name Simon Leviev. He claimed to be a worker for LLD Diamonds—what he said was a dangerous business—and claimed to be the son of Lev Leviev, who is considered "the king of diamonds" in Israel.

Hayut began wooing Tinder dates with lavish experiences—flights on private jets, stays at five-star hotels—but soon after, things turned problematic when the women were facing extreme financial loss at the hands of Hayut, who pretended to be in difficult work-related predicaments while spending their earnings.  

"You double-cross me, you're gonna pay for it," we hear him declare in a voice message on the documentary trailer. 

One of the best online dating tips out there? Be extra cautious when revealing personal information. 

'The Tinder Swindler' release date

Now's the time to start streaming: The Tinder Swindler hit Netflix on February 2, 2022.

Cecilie Fjellhøy, Pernilla Sjöholm and Ayleen Charlotte all detail their real-life romances with Hayut. 

"That's when the police tell me the man I love was never real," we hear one of his matches say. "Everything's a lie."

(Tinder background checks are preparing to launch, according to the company.) 

What is 'The Tinder Swindler' about?

The documentary recounts four women's encounters with Hayut, and it is their attempt to take back the story and expose this scammer for what he truly is.

Like many of the streaming services other hits—including the most-watched Netflix shows and movies of all timeThe Tinder Swindler is making history on the platform. It is the first documentary to lead Netflix's weekly film chart, according to Deadline

Is the Tinder Swindler in jail?

Though it seems like the obvious location, believe it or not, the Tinder Swindler is not in jail. 

Following his 2015 prison stint, he was discovered by authorities in 2019 in Greece for using a fraudulent passport. Upon being deported back to Israel, he was sentenced to 15 months in prison at the end of the year. However, he only served five for being on good behavior. 

Where is the Tinder Swindler now? Hint: not online

According to NBC News, Hayut and his other aliases have been removed from online dating apps like Tinder and Hinge, though rumors swirled that he still had an active Tinder profile upon the doc's release. Tinder denied these claims. 

Page Six reports that he is living in Israel in a luxury apartment with his girlfriend (who seemingly does not have a Netflix account). He is also selling merchandise following his Netflix fame. 

Is Simon Leviev being sued? 

Now that word has gotten out about Hayut's behavior, it appears the gig is up. 

The real Leviev diamond family, which Hayut does not belong to, is suing the Tinder Swindler for using their name. 

According to court documents, the family says: "For a long time, he [Simon] has been making false representations as being the son of Lev Leviev and receiving numerous benefits (including material ones), cunningly and using false words, claiming to be a member of the Leviev Family, and that his family will pay and bear the costs of his benefits."

It continues, "He even used the LLD Diamonds trademark to make his victims believe that he was indeed part of the diamond company (its CEO no less, per his signature) and was a member of the Leviev Family."

When trying out the best dating apps—regardless of selection—always proceed cautiously when interacting with someone new and trust your gut if something seems off. Not all that glitters is gold.

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.