Who is Simon Leviev, The Tinder Swindler
Simon Leviev whose birth name is Shimon Hayut is an Israeli-born fraudster. He is known to his Instagram followers as the handsome rich son of Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev. In reality, he is a thirty-something-year-old poor man who ran away from his home when he was nearly 20. He is not even related to the billionaire Leviev. According to his mother, he has never seen him since he was 18 years old and she has nothing to do with him.
He has swindled several women millions of dollars under fake identity as he poses as the wealthy heir to LLD Diamonds, the CEO of the company, and the son of a billionaire, Lev Leviev. As three women came out with their stories of how he swindled them, more victims came out to also share their stories.
How does Simon Leviev Play His Cards?
Simon uses the Tinder dating app to find his victim. On his tinder, he has shared photos of him on private jets, on expensive dates, with expensive cars wearing expensive designer clothes. As you swipe right, he becomes a match, and soon after he inboxes you.
After a few conversations, he asks for your number and that’s how someone falls for his trap. His goal is always to make you trust him. He manipulates you emotionally until you fall for his trap. among his victims are some people who thought they were his girlfriends, and others his closest friends.
First, he makes you believe that he is rich. Simon takes his victim to expensive dates, on private jets, to expensive hotels where the billionaires dine. While showing you all these experiences, he is with his ‘bodyguard’ and a ‘secretary’. This will already make you believe that he is indeed the son of Billionaire Lev Leviev. He does this for almost a month and then suddenly comes up with the narrative that his enemies are after him.
He then sends a photo of his bodyguard badly beaten and bleeding allegedly injured by his enemies. While this causes panic to his victims, he calms them done that everything will be alright he just needs to be in hiding for a while so that his ‘enemies’ won’t find him. Soon after, Simon tells his girlfriend that she opens a new credit card under her name for use as his credit card cant be used for security reasons.
Since the girlfriend is already madly in love and is being a supportive girlfriend, she does as his ‘rich boyfriend’ says. He then politely asks you to take quick loans as he ‘urgently’ needs cash. The victim is in for huge debts but he promises to pay up later when he resolves ‘his issues’ Apparently, the money being sent is used to maintain his expensive lifestyle and lure another victim of his.
Simon Leviev Victims
Three known victims came out to share their stories and hoped to get Simon Leviev arrested. His victims are Ayleen Charlotte Koeleman, Cecilie Schrøder, and Pernilla Sjoholm. All this happened between 2017 and 2019.
He met Cecil Schroder and made him his girlfriend within the first month of the meeting. After taking her to expensive dates and even asking her to move in with her, he began his tactics of asking large sums of money from her.
After Cecil realized that she was conned, she took her story to Norway’s biggest newspaper, Verdens Gang. who helped trace the next victim Pernilla Sjoholm. At this time, he had already scammed Cecil for almost $200,000.
At the same time, he met Pernilla Sjoholm on tinder. They went on a date but did not like each other romantically so they just settled on being friends. He even introduced her to his girlfriend as they dined at expensive restaurants and flew on expensive private jets. Soon after, Simon used the same story that his bodyguard was injured and his enemies are after him. Pernilla was asked large sums of money until she couldn’t afford it anymore.
One of the journalists at Verdens Gang was able to trace Pernilla through the tickets that she paid for from Cecil as Simon never used his own money. He contacted Pernilla told her all about Cecil’s story and that’s when she knew she was scammed. At this time, Pernilla based Simon to pay off his debt as she was not able to pay her bills. Simon asked her to fly to Munich and pick one of his watches and sell it. When she took the watch to a dealer, she found out it was fake and valueless.
Ayleen Charlotte Koeleman
Simon’s story was going viral and his face was all over the internet. His girlfriend at the time Ayleen Charlotte Koeleman saw what was happening and also realized she was his victim. She contacted Pernilla on Instagram and soon confirmed her fears. They now all wanted the same thing; to have Simon behind bars. Ayleen pretended to be on Simon’s side since she also wanted to get her money back. Simon became bankrupt since he had no one to scam anymore as his face was all over the internet.
He relied on Ayleen and trusted her with everything as he felt she was on his side. Ayleen suggested she sells his designer clothes as he needed money urgently. Simon thought it was a great idea and agreed to sell his clothes. Her plan was to sell the clothes and keep the money to herself as payback.
When Simon realized he was also betrayed, he began threatening her and calling her names. Aileen later told the police that she was on an airplane to Greece under the name David Sharon which led to his arrest in 2019.
Simon was released from prison after serving only five months of his 15 months sentence due to the coronavirus outbreak. He continued living his lavish lifestyle and posed as a businessman and real estate agent.