By Zee

Netflix have truly upped their game when it comes to true-crime documentaries. The latest of which includes the Tinder Swindler which follows three women, all of whom were conned by a convicted criminal posing as a billionaire on Tinder. Shimon Hayut, or who we know as Simon Leviev, habitually wooed women online by building relationships upon foundations of lies, deceit and falseness. Little did these women know that they would be conned, defrauded and swindled out of millions, yes MILLIONS of dollars. As for Simon, well he is still out there… and allegedly back on Tinder.

Posing as the billionaire son of an Israeli diamond mogul, Simon would entice his victims through luxury and opulence. Travelling strictly by private jets, residing in luxury hotels and eating at 5-star establishments, he created the perfect image…until things became sour. Simon warned his ‘girlfriends’ of enemies who were after him, this paved the way for his cunning plan. He would demand his victims send him money, claiming his enemies had located him and were planning to kill him. Yet, the funds were actually used to support his lavish lifestyle, and to lure more victims. Thus, Simon’s victims were actually helping him in his efforts to con more women across the world.

The documentary should serve as a strong warning to everyone who uses dating apps and the dangers that come with it.

Who are the real winners?

I wasn't too sure what to expect of this! I thought it would be an exaggerated, dramatised documentary with limited evidence, but I was wrong! The documentary grabbed my attention quite quickly and I didn't pause it, not once! I was surprised to see how far the con-man got before alarm bells were raised. I don't want to get into a culture of victim blaming but one does question how these women became so wrapped up in his web of lies without being suspicious early on. The documentary should serve as a strong warning to everyone who uses dating apps and the dangers that come with it. When someone sounds too good to be true, it's because they usually are. Muslim women can often get targeted and manipulated through Muslim dating apps, you can find more information about this particular topic in this blog on MWN Hub.

By the end of the documentary, it is apparent how Simon is still at large - even today. So, who are the real winners? The women who are still paying back huge debts because of him? Or Simon, who served 5 months in jail and is living a life of luxury again?

Justice will prevail

Well, this was by far one of the most scandalous documentaries I’ve seen. The lengths that Simon pursued in order to pull off his schemes were unbelievable. The willingness and at times eagerness of his victims to support him was questionable. But something even more surprising was the ease at which these women were able to access loans of up to $25,000! Also, their ability to travel all across Europe with no barriers, how is that even possible? Perhaps that’s a conversation for another time…

I could not get past the eagerness of his victims! Maybe it’s just me, but to lend a ‘friend’ or a ‘fling’ money up to $25,000 is just crazy!? I understand these women were manipulated into thinking Simon was this high-flying billionaire who could easily pay them off, but surely red flags were already raised once they saw him on Tinder! Why would a man of his stature look for love on an ordinary dating app, nothing was ordinary about the man so why would his love life be!

I’m glad these women were able to highlight this awful man and his crimes. I am confident that they will get justice and if not now, then in the near future. As for Simon, he deserves nothing but a life of misery for what he’s put these women through. If he placed as much effort into a legitimate business as he did in his scams, he wouldn’t need to scam!

And being able to return to his flashy ways is an absolute joke to all victims! How on earth did he get away with this scot free? Not only did he swindle innocent women out of thousands of dollars, but he committed fraud on various levels of severity. On an international level how is this not a problem? As I said earlier, I truly hope this documentary brings a new wave of hope which ensures all Simon’s victims are given the opportunity to obtain some form of justice. I also hope women are now more vigilant when browsing for love online - if you have a gut feeling that something is not right then listen to it!

These women were intelligent and independent, but they should have known better and followed their instincts and doubts! How did they fall for such a man?

The victims should have known better

So, where do I start??? I could have thrown my latte at the TV, this viewing was so frustrating!

So, there's a predator, playing a billionaire's son and duping women out of unlimited amounts of money using elaborate means, including his other social media accounts. Tinder was his playground to sift out the 'type' of women who could fall prey to his act. He went to extreme lengths to convince them he was the perfect man of their dreams.

These women were intelligent and independent, but they should have known better and followed their instincts and doubts! How did they fall for such a man? They all had their initial doubts, but to actually follow through with Simon’s request was bizarre, and out of character for these seemingly strong women.

Why did one woman agree to flying off on holiday with this swindler on the first day she met him? Because it all looked so perfect, he came across as reliable and trustworthy. These women didn't need a relationship, but if they did, he ticked all their boxes. And he knew what he was doing. That is why he got away with his deceit time and time again.

Predators know how and where to strike. Unfortunately, social media gives them an open field to probe through people's lives that are so openly exhibited. This won't be the first or last case of its kind, and this angers me so much!!!

Gold diggers or do-gooders?

Tinder Swindler explores the dark side of online dating and exposes our ability to pose as someone we aren't in order to fulfil our own desires. The true story clearly depicts how society plays into the social norms we set up for ourselves: the "rich" male who strives to entice "beautiful" women. Is it so unbelievable that a man would go to such extremities in order to play into this chauvinistic scenario? A scenario us women like to play into. Despite the clear guilty party, I couldn't help but question the women in play. Are we unable to see past diamonds and yachts? Leaving a bitter taste in my mouth knowing the lack of justice surrounding the Swindler, I also feel a sense of disappointment in our lack of ability to draw boundaries even with those who we may love.

Here’s what the internet has to say:

@DennisRed93

My biggest takeaway from #tinderswindler is how much credit white people have access to.

@gachiaa__

Nah tinder swindler is still killing me because if a man ever asked me to take a loan out, I would cry of laughter

@UjuAnya

People calling Tinder Swindler’s victims stupid for not knowing a “real billionaire” would never do that, how YOU know what billionaires do? How many billionaires you met? If everyone was so immune to scams, Nigerian princes wouldn’t have stolen half the planet’s retirement.

@Oloni

No man in this world could ever make me take out a loan for him I can never like anyone’s son that much. #tinderswindler and even if I did like him I’m still saying no. Ew.

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