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9 Feb, 2022 10:05

‘Tinder Swindler’ prompts dating app warning

Tinder released a set of guidelines in advance of the new documentary, helping users identify scammers
‘Tinder Swindler’ prompts dating app warning

Tinder and other online dating platforms including Match.com and Plenty of Fish have banned a man dubbed “The Tinder Swindler” in a recent Netflix documentary.

Its release prompted Tinder to publish a set of guidelines to keep their users safe and help them identify so-called “romance scammers” operating on their dating app. 

The show follows an Israeli man known as Simon Leviev, who scammed several women he met on the app for an estimated total of $10 million.

Three women have been documented alleging that Leviev – whose real name is Shimon Hayut – pretended to be the son of a wealthy tycoon, wining and dining them before encouraging them to hand over large quantities of cash. 

Hayut claimed he was back on Tinder when the documentary was released on February 2. Tinder denied this and said they had blocked him and all his known aliases. A spokeswoman for Tinder said Hayut had also been banned from Match Group Inc., including Match.com, Plenty of Fish, and OkCupid.  

Tinder’s February 1 fact sheet, entitled “Romance Scams: How to Protect Yourself Online,” does not mention Hayut or any of his aliases. 

Instead, it tells users to keep an eye out for scammers and look for tell-tale warning signs, including, if they ask you to communicate off the app and “if it seems too good to be true.” 

Tinder also tells users to be wary of matches who talk about financial problems, such as struggling to pay bills. 

Hayut was arrested in Greece in 2019 and sent back to Israel, where he was sentenced to 15 months in jail and ordered to compensate his victims a total of more than $43,000, The Times of Israel reported.

He was released after serving only five months.