The Tinder Swindler Shimon Hayut Deletes His Instagram Account, but What Led to This?

The Tinder Swindler Shimon Hayut Deletes His Instagram Account, but What Led to This?

Following the release of Tiger King, we have seen numerous documentaries and series based on real-life events. The Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin series has revived viewers’ interest in the genre. Catering to this demand is Netflix. The month of February saw the release of Inventing Anna and The Tinder Swindler. As the former awaits its release soon, the popularity of the latter has led to some very unexpected events.

The man whose life and actions The Tinder Swindler revolves around is named Shimon Hayut. Victims of his crimes know him as Simon Leviev. The subject of this documentary has gained a massive following after its release. He has now decided to go off social media. He said, “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.”

But let us back down a little and recount the steps that led to this.

Who is Shimon Hayut and how did he come to be known as Simon Leviev?

Born in a city near Tel Aviv, Shimon Hayut changed his name to Simon Leviev. If you find yourself pausing at the name of “Leviev”, then you probably recognize it from the Israeli diamond tycoon- Lev Leviev. Although Shimon is in no way related to this family, being an heir to them is what he led his victims to believe.

According to this documentary on Netflix, Hayut met women on Tinder, led them to believe that he was an heir of the Levievs, and lured them into relationships. During the course of “dating” these women, Hayut would take them on extravagant getaways that the victims believed Leviev was paying for. But, in fact, it was the money of the previous women that Hayut was using to capture his next victims.

Eventually, when he was sure he’d gained their trust, Hayut would convince the women that he was in trouble. He would send them videos of his “bodyguard” bleeding or something similar. And finally, bringing his plan into action, he would ask them to transfer money as Leviev couldn’t risk being tracked. Of course, this all came with the promise of payback. Or, the women were assured that the extravagant gifts he’d given them before would balance it out, in case things went wrong. But, all they found at their end were fake watches, bouncing cheques, and bank transfers that never resulted in them receiving the money.

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While this sounds like something straight out of a Wattpad book, too many women have fallen victims to this.

Where is The Tinder Swindler now? Why did he delete his social media account?

Breaking the pattern of victims, one of Hayut’s “girlfriends” helped turn him in. She suspected Shimon when he asked her for money and told him to sell his designer clothes. When she discovered he was flying to Greece, she gave his information to the authorities. Soon after, he was arrested and sentenced to 15 months of prison in Israel, of which he only served 5 months.

Although this arrest was his latest, it wasn’t his first. Leviev, who managed to make a whopping $10 million, between 2017 and 19, was arrested for swindling way before this. He had been defrauding people since 2009. Following his release, Leviev had been back on social media. He was leading the very same lifestyle he had before prison. He also hasn’t been charged for any crimes he has committed outside Israel. The victims of the Tinder Swindler are still paying off their debts and looking for justice.

Naturally, Tinder banned him from the platform. After a massive surge in his following, he has also deleted his Instagram account. But, seeing his last message to his followers, he probably will be back soon.

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If there is anything that this documentary on Netflix teaches its viewers, it is to think twice before they swipe right.

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