Million-dollar scammer turned legitimate celebrity? Simon Leviev’s crimes were revealed to the world through Netflix’s shocking documentary The Tinder Swindler. After scamming millions of dollars from various women through the dating app Tinder, Leviev seems to have walked away without a scratch.
In The Tinder Swindler, a group of women who were the victims of Simon Leviev join together in an attempt to hunt him down and recover the millions of dollars that were stolen from them. However, in a strange turn of events, the documentary instead turned Leviev into a minor celebrity. Find out how Leviev is turning his momentary fame into cash and how much he actually stole from his victims.
“Tinder Swindler” rakes in legitimate cash
Apparently, the scammer is now making money by being his true self on Cameo. What’s Cameo? The app lets regular people, such as ourselves, pay celebrities to record personalized messages. No need to spam their Twitter replies, just pay ‘em fifty bucks and they’ll give you a personalized shoutout.
Sources with direct knowledge told TMZ that Leviev joined the site Tuesday and got a surge of requests from fans to make messages. It’s been revealed that the former scammer made $30K within his first three days on the app. Leviev is reportedly charging $200 per personal video and $2K per video for businesses.
People have ordered videos for anything from pep talks to celebratory birthday messages. He details in his profile that he’s excited to be on Cameo to wish folks whatever they need.
The truth behind Simon Leviev’s past
Leviev, whose real name is Simon Hayut, led his victims to believe he was the heir of billionaire Russian-Israeli diamond mogul, Lev Leviev. In reality, the two men weren’t related and these women would soon find themselves drowning in debt.
The scammer would take his Tinder matches on lavish dates (all paid by previous scams) before he would begin to claim that his life was in danger. After convincing his girlfriends that a diamond business rival was trying to track his location through his credit cards, he’d ask for his date’s credit card information.
When he asked Cecilie Fjellhoy if he could use her American Express card temporarily, for “two weeks or something,” she didn’t even think twice. “I’m his girlfriend. Of course we’re going to help each other, it wasn’t even a question,” she says in the documentary. She also had no reason to doubt that he could pay her back since he paid for all their jet-set dates. In just a month, she lent him nearly $100,000.
“Every second or third day is a new request,” she explains. “Each time he maxes out the card, I have to take out a new loan.” Before long, Fjellhoy had lent him $250,000.
He sent her a check to reimburse her for $500,000 but it didn’t go through. In disbelief, she contacted American Express and had a meeting with two agents who asked her to share a photo of her boyfriend. “They looked at each other and they said, ‘That’s the guy,’” Fjellhoy says. “They said, ‘He’s a professional, he does this for a living. Everything is a lie. He’s not a prince of diamonds, son of a billionaire.’”
Millions of dollars stolen, but only months in jail
After numerous victims joined together to compile their evidence, Interpol caught him in Greece in 2019. He was sentenced to 15 months for the fraud he committed in Israel.
Except, it doesn’t end there. Hayut was released early in May 2020 after just five months amid COVID-19 prison concerns. He’s now living as a free man in Israel. Fjellhoy and his other victims are still imprisoned by debt and trying to move on from the damage he did to their lives.
Do you think the “Tinder Swindler” should be free? Should his victims have known better? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments below!