Did the Tinder Swindler Learn His Lesson? Where Is He Now?

Everett Collection / ©Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

There is no shortage of true-crime documentaries on Netflix and beyond, but “The Tinder Swindler” sounds more like a fiction movie than a documentary. The documentary tells the story of Shimon Hayut, an Israeli con man who used Tinder to meet his marks and gain their trust in order to con them out of thousands of dollars.

How Did the Tinder Swindler Con Women?

Hayut’s con spanned multiple countries, as the Netflix documentary shows. During a spree that ended in 2019, he used Tinder to target and catfish women from Norway, Finland, and Denmark. Hayut posed as Simon Leviev, a Russian oligarch and the son of a billionaire diamond-mine owner, and charmed his dates into trusting him. From there, he would convince them to take out lines of credit under their names in order to “help” him “protect himself” from the many enemies he claimed were out to get him. Of course, there were no such enemies, and the money the women had lent to him was long gone.

How Did the Tinder Swindler Get Caught?

According to The Times of Israel, Hayut was caught and arrested in July 2019 for using a fake passport in a joint operation between Interpol and Israeli police.

What Was the Tinder Swindler’s Prison Sentence?

According to “Variety,” Hayut went to prison in Israel in December 2019 and was sentenced to 15 months behind bars. However, he only served five months before he was released.

This wasn’t his first stint in jail, either. In 2015, he served two years in a Finnish prison for conning three women, according to The Times of Israel. His time in Finland wasn’t even the beginning – he was in Finland on a fraudulent passport after fleeing Israel to avoid (you guessed it!) accusations of theft, forgery, and fraud from 2011.

Where Is the Tinder Swindler Now?

After being released from prison in early 2020, Hayut reportedly pulled off yet another con. The Times of Israel reported that he posed as a front-line medical worker in December 2020 to get a COVID-19 vaccine when vaccines weren’t yet available to the general public in his age and risk categories. Hayut disputed the accusations to Channel 12, claiming he had a medical condition that allowed him early access to the vaccine. Channel 12 refuted his medical claims. Hayut reportedly threatened to sue the medical center where he received the vaccine. “I am not someone who waits in line or at places. . . . I am a businessman,” he told Channel 12, according to The Times of Israel. “I have money. I can buy anyone or anything that I want.”

Although Hayut was released from prison in early 2020, where he is now is anyone’s guess, though it appears he still has an Instagram account under the name Simon Leviev with over 90,000 followers. Hayut’s current whereabouts are unknown, and now, with the high profile of his story, they’re likely to stay that way for some time unless he decides to tell his side of the story.

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