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Amidst Lawsuit Troubles, Netflix's Tinder Swindler Was Duped In Completely Different Online Scam

Following its streaming debut on Netflix in February, the British true crime documentary The Tinder Swindler became a huge hit for the service, to the point where the controversial and often infuriating subject matter quickly sparked reports that a dramatized adaptation was in development. Things haven’t been quite so hunky dory for the scheming manipulator that the doc’s title refers to, however. The Israel-born Shimon Hayut, who used the alias Simon Leviev to bilk various women out of millions of dollars, is not only facing a huge lawsuit from the diamond mogul family he falsely claimed to be part of, but he also found himself the victim of an online scam that had nothing to do with the Netflix project.

It appears as if Simon Leviev (the name he continues to go by publicly) was contacted on Instagram by a female with a verified profile who claimed that she would be able to secure verification for both Leviev and his girlfriend Kate Konlin. According to TMZ, the woman said that her boyfriend was an employee of Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, which owns Instagram, and that he’d be the one putting things in motion. 

It’s around this point when Simon Leviev apparently had a Facetime meeting with the boyfriend, and that call seemed to really sell the idea that things were completely legitimate. It’s said that the boyfriend was located in a busy office setting, with other “employees” walking around behind him and adding to the illusion that he was indeed within the Meta staff offices.

With the pieces in place, here was the time for the actual scamming to begin. The guy allegedly told Leviev that he would need to be paid — the oddball total charge: $6,664 — in order to officially grant the verification mark to his and his girlfriend Kate Konlin’s profiles. The payment were said to be sent through Paypal in two different transactions, and were apparently sent through before Leviev actually looked into that situation he just put himself in. 

Not long after that went down, Simon Leviev’s manager rang some alarm bells and contacted someone at Meta to inquire about the verification process, learning that the company does not impose charges on those aiming to verify themselves. Naturally, when the manager attempted to reestablish contact with the scammers, they’d already deleted their Instagram accounts and could not be found otherwise, meaning they did indeed escape the situation having conned the infamous Tinder Swindler out of nearly $7,000. That total obviously doesn’t compare to the millions of dollars that his deception earned him over the years, but it’s probably as close to poetic justice as his victims could hope for at this point. 

To that end, the actual diamond mogul Lev Leviev, the purported father of “Simon,” reportedly filed a lawsuit in Tel Aviv accusing the Tinder Swindler subject of receiving benefits and goods while lying about being part of the Leviev family. According to Forbes, the lawsuit also seeks to identify the shadow network of helpers that Leviev used in amassing $10 million through various deceitful means. 

The Tinder Swindler isn’t the only wildly popular recent Netflix release about a con artist, with Julia Garner earning high praise for her performance as the faux heiress Anna Delvey/Sorokin in Inventing Anna. (Though Delvey technically made bank through more authentic means by selling her life rights to Netflix for the show to be made.) Along with Hulu’s The Dropout centering on Elizabeth Holmes’ Theranos scandal, the time is ripe for streaming shows about ruthless schemers. 

For anyone with a Netflix subscription that hasn’t yet checked it out, The Tinder Swindler is currently available to stream in full, with potentially more in store down the road. If you’ve already sorted through all of the best movies on the streaming service to date, then head to our 2022 Netflix movie premiere schedule to see what’s still yet to arrive in the coming months. 

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.