Netflix’s The Tinder Swindler is on everyone’s lips.
Shimon Yehuda Hayut, the show’s main character, left many baffled by his movie-like antics and sheer audacity of conning people, in broad daylight.
The 31 year old is showcased in the hit documentary as a conman who duped three women he met through the dating app, Tinder.
These three women were just a fraction of the people Shimon is said to have conned up to a total of US$10 million, under Simon Leveiv and various other names.
He had began stealing from people from his teenage years, and seem to have mastered the habit as he was only recently called out by a lady for approaching her on Instagram.
Norway’s Verdens Gang took it as a matter of interest to track, and produce extensive reports on Shimon aka Simon Leviev. Below are just some of their findings.
1. The Chobin Family
An Israeli family in New York reported that they housed Shimon for six months because he was having family troubles back in Israel.
Some two years later, he begged to stay at the family’s house while they went away on holiday.
At 17 years of age at the time in 2008, Norway’s Verdens Gang (VG) newspaper reports Simon spent around US$42,000 on the family’s credit card in the space of three days.
2. The Yakir family
In 2010, Simon was hired by Eran Yakir’s family to babysit their then five year old son in Israel. He worked for them daily for three months and they really liked him.
One day, Eran’s wife received a call from the bank that an attempt had been made to cash a cheque of 50,000 shekels (approx. US$15,000).
Suspecting it was Shimon but without telling him, Eran’s wife sent an SMS to him – he was babysitting their child that day. She informed him that she will be running late home as she had to stop by the police station.
Shimon ran away, leaving the child unattended.
British citizen, Courtney was 19 when she met Shimon in Cyprus in summer of 2008, while living with her grandparents in the country.
The two quickly became friends and Shimon hired her as his personal assistant after claiming he was a ‘secret millionaire’ who was only working in Cyprus because his father wanted him to understand the value of money.
Her first job for was to hire a BMW so he could look impressive at meetings. She did so in her own name but with the credit card provided by Leviev.
They were both arrested put in custody after it turned out the card was stolen in Israel. Simon managed to escape even though his passport was confiscated by authorities.
Her family ended up paying US418,360 before her case could be closed.
3. Brigita Staskeviciute
Brigita, a London-based Lithuanian met Shimon on Valentine’s Day in 2012 through the dating website Match.com.
Shimon introduces himself as Mordechay Nisim Tapiro, a pilot and Israeli secret agent, to the newly single Brigita.
They became a couple 6 months after meeting, and he moves in with her 6 months after that.
Brigita was given first class treatment, sitting business class on flights until Shimon began taking out credit cards in her name and lying about how much he earned to get higher credit.
Shimon promised to pay Brigita back her money but soon moved to Bangkok. It was when Brigita paid him a visit in Bangkok, opened his phone to see numerous tinder messages from many girls, she realised she had been scammed.
Brigita believes she was left with an estimated bill of 1million Kroner (over US$100,000), however she did not keep any proof of emails and messages.
A Finnish Woman in Thailand
Shimon is thought to have met an unnamed Finnish woman in Bangkok in 2015.
Two weeks after their first meeting, he visited her in Finland and ended up staying with her for about 6 months. She is said to have been conned of 345,000 kroner (approximately US$38,000).
Three More Women
Two Finnish and a Danish woman tell about how they met Simon through Tinder in 2015.
He met all three women around the same time between April and May of 2015. He conned these women, including their mothers, of over US$100,000.
A few months later in September 2015, he was arrested in Finland.
A German Woman
Simon meets a German woman on a date at the Waldorf Astoria, Berlin in October 2017.
According to VG, under the guise of Levy Avraham, he cons the lady of approximately US$12,500, including purchasing a ticket to the Cayman Islands in February 2018.
Amsterdam Exclusive hotel
Shimon rented an exclusive apartment with a price tag of around 6,000 (US$670) per night for several months in 2018, for himself and heavily pregnant partner.
Both Cecilie and Pernilla visited him at the hotel while he was there.
VG reports while he had initially paid for the first two weeks, every other times, he came up with various excuses. He conned the hotels’ owner of US$21,000.
Cecilie is one of the ladies who give their account of encounter with Shimon on the hit Netflix documentary.
The 29 year old Norwegian first met the Isreali on the dating site, Tinder, then went on a date at the Four Seasons hotel in London on January 14, 2018.
Subsequent meetings were in expensive locations including a business class trip to Bulgaria. Under the name, Simon Leviev, the two began what she thought was a romantic long distance relationship.
Four weeks into their relationship, Simon claimed his life was in danger, and to avoid him leaving any trail, he asked her to give him credit cards and he will pay back in cash.
The 29 year old, a student in London at the time, ended up with over US$200,000 debt, of which included flight tickets that was paid for Pernilla.
Pernilla, a Swedish national, met Simon via Tinder around the same time he was seeing Cecilie. She also featured in the hit Netflix documentary alongside Cicilie and Ayleen.
They went on their first date in March 2018, but became friends as there was “no spark” between them, according to Pernilla.
The 35 year old thought the crook was “smart and funny and very impulsive”. She lent him $45,000 (£33,500) and he gave her an expensive watch as collateral – turns out the watch was fake.
Not long after, a VG reporter got in touch and informed her who Simon really is. She decided to collaborate with them in their plot to catch him.
Another lady featured in the documentary is Ayleen Charlotte who matched with Simon on Tinder in 2018, around the same time he was seeing Cicilie and Pernilla. They dated for 14 months.
She had so far transferred US$140,000 to the swindler when she caught wind of who he was in an article.
Out to seek revenge, she pretended to still be in love with him and encouraged him to give her his wide collection of designer clothes to sell to help him raise money.
The smart lady began selling the clothes on eBay to claw back some of the money she lost.
A goFundMe page was subsequently opened to help the ladies clear some of the debt Simon left on them.