Where Is The Tinder Swindler Now?

Netflix's "The Tinder Swindler" has officially taken the internet by storm. Just a week after its release, the true crime documentary has firmly planted itself in the streaming platform's Top 10 — and it doesn't look like it's budging anytime soon. Not to mention, it's caused more than a few of us to side-eye our Bumble dates after they ask to split the tab.

For those who haven't tuned in, the true crime documentary follows notorious conman Simon Leviev (real name, Shimon Hayut) as he uses the dating app Tinder to defraud women around the world out of thousands of dollars. The fraudster, who posed as a billionaire diamond heir, whisked his dates away into a luxury lifestyle of private planes, incredible designer duds, and high-class hotel suites — all while convincing them he needed to borrow their credit cards so his mysterious "enemies" couldn't track him down. When all was said and done, reports estimate that Leviev swindled his victims out of $10 million.

As we saw in the end of the doc, the alleged Ponzi scheme eventually came to an end in 2019 when Leviev was caught using a fake passport to enter Greece (thanks to a a police tip from his former girlfriend Ayleen Charlotte). Unfortunately, this is one of those documentaries without a neatly tied bow around the ending. There's a lot left to unravel. So, where is the Tinder swindler now? From the looks of it, it's business as usual.

The Tinder swindler only served five months in prison

"The Tinder Swindler" touches on the stories of three of Simon Leviev's reported victims: Cecilie Fjellhøy, Ayleen Koeleman, and Pernilla Sjoholm. They actually don't have anything to do with the crimes that led to his arrest. Instead, he was wanted in Israel for fraud, theft, and forgery charges that dated all the way back to 2011. According to The Times of Israel, he had already fled the country twice in an attempt to dodge the charges, which related to two stolen checkbooks. In short: he was an active fugitive.

When Leviev was finally arrested in 2019, he was extradited to his home country and convicted. He ended up serving just five months of his 15-month prison sentence. In this case, the coronavirus pandemic threw him a bone. Israel thinned their prison population as cases soared, and Leviev got a lucky break for good behavior.

Today, the Tinder swindler is a free man — and his victims are disgusted. "How can you give trust to a man like that, who escaped from Israel twice?" Sjoholm told The Times of Israel. "A man that deceived and swindled women in Europe for hundreds of thousands of euros. Where is the justice?"

He's back to living his luxury lifestyle

Since his release, it looks like the Tinder swindler has somehow maintained his luxury lifestyle. Bustle, who caught a glimpse of his Instagram account before it was deactivated, spotted the fraudster flaunting his ridiculous wealth with the usual smattering of sports cars, private planes, and designer clothes (though he could always be faking it like rapper Bow Wow). A TikTok account that appears to belong to the conman paints a similar picture. There's no evidence this dude has ever taken a commercial flight, but it's also not clear how he maintains his extravagant lifestyle. It even looks like he bought a boat.

Bustle, who reported on the swindler's personal website before it was taken down, says Leviev claimed to be "worth tens of millions" of dollars thanks to Bitcoin and real estate investments. Maybe he took the stolen money and invested wisely. No one really knows.

Tinder banned Simon Leviev (and his known aliases)

You won't have to worry about running into the Tinder swindler on another dating app (though you should be wary about men who pose on private jets as if it's not a glaring online dating red flag). Simon Leviev — or whatever name he's been using — has been permanently banned from a swath of popular dating apps including Tinder, Hinge, Match, and OkCupid.

It should be noted that squashing fake profiles is a little bit like playing whack-a-mole. For now, Tinder confirmed to USA Today that "Leviev and any of his known aliases are no longer active on" the dating platform. He was banned back in 2019, and Tinder caught him trying to make another account in 2021. The dating app also created a fact sheet to help online daters avoid similar scams.

According to Tinder, romance scammers banked $300 million in 2020 by exploiting "individuals who are already making themselves vulnerable in looking for love." They advise daters to never send money online — and, of course, never send a photocopy of your passport or other private information to a guy from a dating app who could very well be a catfish. We have watched too much "90 Day Fiancé" for that.

Not long after his release, the Tinder swindler started dating an Israeli model

Though most online daters would be deterred by simply Googling any of Simon Leviev's aliases, the Tinder swindler did find love again. Hey, there's a fraudster for everyone. Even Billy McFarland landed a model who was willing to date him in prison after the Fyre Festival fiasco.

According to Radar, Leviev began dating Israeli model Kate Konlin after sliding into her Instagram DMs in November 2020 (which is kind of the only option when you're banned from virtually every dating app). She opened up about their relationship to Israeli magazine Mako, claiming Leviev chased her for four months until she would see him. He also allegedly came clean about his past on their first date.

"Listen, the sums [his victims] said he stung were equal to the gifts he buys me on Saturday," she said (via Radar, who translated the article). "It's absurd, why should he take a girl for tens of thousands when he spends such a sum as a matter of routine? It does not make sense." Konlin also claimed that Leviev showed her documented proof of his innocence. Sadly, their love did not last. Konlin told Radar that the pair split because of their busy work schedules but remained friends.

He allegedly conned his way to a COVID-19 vaccine

If one thing is clear, it's that the Tinder swindler hasn't completely abandoned his old tricks. In 2020, he was caught scamming his way to the front of the line for a COVID-19 vaccine. He even reportedly posted a video of himself getting the jab on social media despite the fact that he didn't yet qualify under Israel's mass vaccination program. 

According to a report from Israeli news station Channel 12 (via The Times of Israel), Simon Leviev was initially denied a shot because "only medical workers, those over the age of 60 and at-risk groups" were eligible at the time. Allegedly, Leviev then loitered at the center's entrance before following some medical workers inside and pretending he was a paramedic. The staff didn't check his credentials and just gave him the jab.

Leviev defended his vaccination by telling the station that he was "not someone who waits in line" and that he could "buy anyone or anything" that he wanted with his money. He also claimed to have a medical condition that put him at a higher risk, but Channel 12 couldn't find any evidence in his medical history. "I had an appointment [to be vaccinated], perhaps there was a bug in the computer," he said (via The Times of Israel). "This is a third world country, after all."

Simon Leviev is working to rehab his image

Since his conviction and the Netflix documentary, Simon Leviev has been working hard to rehab his image. According to Radar, he hired a marketing company to help him "change the narrative" about his past. They reportedly placed "PR puff pieces" highlighting his business skills and Jewish faith (he even reportedly brushed elbows with obscure Israeli celebs and reposted a photo of himself praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem). One of those alleged puff pieces went as far as calling him a hero.

"An orthodox upbringing, a rabbi for a father, a dream to own the world, and the challenges overcome to get there — these are all the makings of a hero's journey," wrote Fox Interviewer. "... Where the mythological hero fights dragons, the mortal one fights the self and society."

Throughout everything, Leviev has fiercely maintained his innocence. Before he axed his Instagram account, he wrote a post assuring his followers that he would "share [his] side of the story" (via NME). Not long after, he railed against the accusations in an Instagram Story: "If I was a fraud, why would I act on Netflix," he said (via Deseret News). "I mean they should have arrested me when we were still shooting. It's high time the ladies start saying the truth."

The Tinder swindler is back in (some sort of) business

Now that the bogus diamond heir jig is up, Simon Leviev has moved on to different business ventures. According to Radar, he was living at a hotel in May 2020 and told reporters that he was "collaborating" with Netflix and had dreams of becoming a politician (he'd hardly be the first politician to scam people out of millions).

As we saw in the doc, he started offering business workshops on his now-defunct website. Radar says he charged $311 a pop, and his former girlfriend claimed one of the workshops he hosted in Tel Aviv had "dozens of" attendees (so, he does at least have some clients).

Leviev has also positioned himself as a real estate connoisseur. An article in Vents Magazine (via Radar) claimed the so-called millionaire "has played the high stakes in the world of real estate for years" and become "an international-level expert as a real estate advisor." The magazine also alleged that he was working on a Netflix biopic (which is decidedly not the same thing as the true crime documentary that we ultimately got). 

Simon Leviev's legal problems are just beginning

As Esquire reports, Simon Leviev was wanted all across Europe when he was arrested for the unrelated crimes he committed in Israel. He reportedly had cops looking for him in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Norway, and England. Things don't exactly appear to be settled, either. In fact, this could be the beginning of a long legal road if he ever tries to leave his home country.

According to a report in The Times of Israel, a number of women have "lawsuits ready to file" against the Tinder Swindler. "Private investigators and Interpol people are waiting for him to leave Israel to arrest him," a woman, who was referred to by the initial "A," told the newspaper. "He ruined my life and shattered me emotionally and financially. I will never forgive him in my life for what he did to me. He will pay dearly for his actions and we will make sure he will go to prison for many years."

For now, the future is unwritten. It's not clear if the victims will ever receive justice (though the trio featured in the documentary have launched a GoFundMe campaign to help pay their debts). The only thing that is clear is that Leviev's alleged scam was a big money maker — if not for the conman, then for Netflix. According to Variety, after the overwhelming success of the documentary, the streaming service is in "early talks" to transform it into a movie.