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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Why you should swipe right on Netflix's 'The Tinder Swindler'

The poster for the Netflix documentary "The Tinder Swindler" (2022) is pictured.

According to Cecilie Fjellhøy, “Nowadays the best way you can meet someone is on a dating app.”

Fjellhøy lived in London when she matched with a man named Simon Leviev, who called himself the “prince of diamonds.”

“You always check the Insta,” and that was the first thing she did. What was supposed to be an hour-long coffee date turned into a private jet trip to Bulgaria. 

All the constant messaging over WhatsApp and images of his lavish lifestyle made Fjellhøy fall more in love with her boyfriend. She knew about the danger he faced as an entrepreneur in the diamond industry, but the sudden text showing Simon’s bloody bodyguard was unexpected. The “son of a billionaire” asked to borrow money due to the attack. She believed he could easily repay her. She had seen how much money he flaunted.

Netflix tells the story of Fjellhøy, Pernilla Sjöholm and Ayleen Charlotte’s platonic and romantic relationships with the “Tinder Swindler” Simon Leviev, whose real name is Shimon Hayut. All three women were introduced to his wealthy lifestyle when they first met, and all three were confident their friend/boyfriend would repay them.

Sjöholm said being his friend was full of “Private jets, cool cars, amazing parties all over the world.”

True crime fans will enjoy this new documentary which dives into how Leviev pulled off the act of catfishing and how it affected the women involved. Journalists at the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang also contributed their own investigation that exposed Leviev back in 2019. 

The background music throughout the documentary seamlessly changes between blissful and suspenseful as the women tell their stories. Actor recreations help lure the audience into the unfolding saga. You can both understand how Leviev manipulated the women while also questioning if you yourself would fall for a dating app con.

Whether or not you use dating apps, “The Tinder Swindler” is a tale of warning for anyone who chats with strangers online. It is also a tale of women coming together to avenge themselves. So drop what you’re doing and open Netflix to watch Fjellhøy, Pernilla and Ayleen in “The Tinder Swindler."

Summary Whether you are a True Crime fan or not, this documentary will capture your attention from the moment Cecelie, Pernilla and Ayeleen first introduce you to Simon- or at least the one they met on Tinder.
5 Stars