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Simon Leviev says he’s ‘not a Tinder Swindler’ in first interview since Netflix release

By Brooke Villanueva Published Feb 21, 2022 11:25 am

“I am not a Tinder Swindler.” 

That’s what Simon Leviev (real name Shimon Hayut) said in his first interview since the release of true-crime documentary The Tinder Swindler, where he’s been exposed as a serial catfisher that used the dating app to con women out of millions.

“I was just a single guy that wanted to meet some girls on Tinder,” he said in the teaser for his exclusive chat with Inside Edition. 

In the hit Netflix film, three women namely Cecilie Fjellhøy, Pernilla Sjöholm, and Ayleen Charlotte detailed their experiences with the romance scammer, who first showered them with flattering messages and lavish gifts as he pretended to be the son of billionaire Lev Leviev. He then asked them to lend him some money to protect himself from so-called “dangerous” people and “enemies.”

In the same talk, however, Hayut—who has been permanently banned from Tinder—bluntly denied the love frauds. “They present it as a documentary, but in truth, it’s like a complete made-up movie,” he said, according to Entertainment Weekly

The Washington Post reported that in 2008, he scammed a family for $42,000. He became wanted in Israel due to theft, forgery, and fraud in 2011, and then got sentenced to two years in jail for defrauding three women in 2015. While he was finally arrested in 2019 and “was sentenced to 15 months in prison for fraud and ordered to pay compensation of more than $43,000,” as indicated in the same report that cited The Times of Israel, he “only served five months.” 

The exclusive interview, which has been divided into two parts, is scheduled to air today, Feb. 21 and tomorrow, Feb. 22.