Everyone’s Talking About Him: How The Swindler Became Our Go-To Meme

By Arvyn B

Think of the worst date you’ve ever been on. Did the person you meet look nothing like their photos, have awful onion breath, or did they perhaps steal millions of dollars from you? If you have not seen or heard of the latest hit Netflix documentary, The Tinder Swindler, then we honestly do not know what you have been doing with your life! It has topped the charts worldwide, and for a good reason. The film tells the story about the crimes committed by Shimon Hayut, a man who went on dates with his preferred name, “Simon Leviev.” Hayut created a false lavish lifestyle for “Leviev” while claiming to be the son of a wealthy father in the diamond industry. He used the dating app to defraud women across Europe, thinking they struck online dating gold by swiping right on him. He met these women and wooed them with a life of luxury at the start. It wasn’t long after their first encounters that Hayut established lines of credit under their names. Hayut would leave the woman and their exuberant bills flying high in no time. People worldwide have been intrigued by the story, and with so many shocking moments and twists that continue to develop, we are just as engaged.

Tilda Swinton

When you hear the title “Tinder Swindler,” it might sound pretty strange, and you might get it confused with something or even someone else. This user, for example, confused the title with the name of the famous British actress, Tilda Swinton!

Courtesy of:  SeanBurkeShow (Twitter)

Honestly, Tilda Swinton is such a terrific actress that we believe she probably thinks of this as a compliment. There is no way she is cheating anyone with those brilliant acting skills – they are too good to be fake.

Only Skill

One thing that keeps appearing in the movie is Simon’s ability to send voice messages to his victims. Instead of actually taking the time to send them text messages, he often relied on voice messages to get his requests across.

Courtesy of:  Oloni (Twitter)

We are not sure exactly why he did this, but we have a strong feeling that he was trying to make his messages appear more genuine. That way, he could continue hustling these women out of their money. Or, on the other hand, maybe he was too lazy even to type the message. Who knows?


Another standard part of Simon’s strategy was claiming “my enemies are after me” whenever he needed a little more cash. He would pretend to be attacked and say that he was being chased and that he needed some extra money.

Courtesy of: AmutjilaniD (Twitter)

As an audience watching this story unfold, this appears to be a pretty rubbish excuse. We still don’t understand how it managed to fool many women in the film! We are totally going to start using it in our daily lives when we want to avoid something. “Sorry boss, I couldn’t finish my assignment. My enemies are after me…”

Huge Loans

One of the craziest moments we experienced while watching this film was when it was revealed that Simon asked his ‘girlfriend’ for her credit card information. He claimed that he had been attacked and needed some urgent help at the moment.

Courtesy of: Netflix

To top things off, once she had maxed her card out, Simon then asked her to give him a loan of $25000 in cash. She had to fly all the way to Amsterdam to give it to him! Sure baby, anything for you.

Higher and Higher

That is not even the end of things – this next moment had our jaws dropping on the floor! Simon went on a massive shopping spree and racked up a bill of over $25000 for one of his girlfriends. We wonder what happened to all of those clothes now…

Courtesy of: Netflix

This should not really come as any surprise, however, because at the time, Simon was staying in a hotel in Greece that was over $5000 a night. He also went to various VIP events, racking his bill even higher. How insane!

More than Once

Another crazy detail in the movie is that his most recent string of cons was not even his first. Simon had actually done this crime multiple times before, even getting jailed in 2015 after conning three Finnish women.

Courtesy of: Netflix

For some reason, his time in jail was not enough to stop him. He continued swindling people out of their money just a few years later. However, his first few attempts were not as expensive as the latest round of hustling.

Swindling the Swindler

With a criminal as insanely creative and sly as Simon, it might come as a wonder how exactly he was stopped. After all, he seems so powerful and manipulative that he could do absolutely anything that he wants to do!

Courtesy of: Kavienraj_ (Twitter)

Of course, that is not true, and Simon was eventually caught at his own game – quite literally! Simon was tricked by one brilliant woman, who quite literally “reversed” his fortunes on him. We think that he deserves it!

Movie Moment

You might be wondering how these women got scammed so easily by this guy. After all, none of us would just loan $25000 to a family member, let alone somebody that we recently met! But that’s all part of the scam.

Courtesy of: Netflix

Simon would start his relationships with these women by whisking them away to a new place in a private jet. This would help him portray the image that he was secretly wealthy and make the women feel like movie stars.

First Moves

Soon after this, Simon asked Cecilie, one of the girlfriends, to move in with him. Naturally, he did not expect for them to move into any old place. He gave them a budget of $15000 per month. What a price!

Courtesy of: Netflix

By doing this, he made Cecilie believe that he was really interested in her, which would help to keep her around for longer. She even went as far as taking her time looking for apartments and sending pictures of them to Simon.

Telling Lies

One of the troubles that Simon faced as part of his scam was the fact that he was using someone else’s card – namely, Cecilie. Cecilie’s American Express kept getting blocked as he traveled across Europe due to frequent spending.

Courtesy of: Netflix

To try and combat this, Simon asked Cecilie had to lie to the American Express Company on numerous occasions. He made her pretend to be the one using the card so that he could keep on living luxuriously. Cecilie, on paper, was definitely living a better lifestyle than in reality.

The Truth Comes Out

With a case as terrible as this one, it was natural that the revelation of the truth would be painful. For Cecilie, it was nothing less than that. The $500 000 checks that Simon gave her bounced, and that’s when she began questioning her life.

Courtesy of: Netflix

Cecilie decided that it was best for her to tell the truth about everything to American Express. They revealed that they knew who Simon was and that he was a conman. It broke our hearts to see Cecilie discover that her lover was just a liar.

Trio of Terrors

Another shocking part of the film was finding out all about Simon’s fake identities. Not only did he lie to these three women, but he also lied to the Israeli government by faking three passports! Check out the IDs below.

Courtesy of: Netflix

It should come as no surprise that Simon was on the run from the Israeli authorities for committing a number of different crimes. Can you guess what they were? Yes, that’s right – forgery and stealing money from his employer!

Threatening Behaviour

Naturally, with a person as twisted as this, the showdown when the truth eventually came out was always going to be spectacular. We are so thankful that the videographers managed to get this extremely tense moment on tape for us!

Courtesy of: Netflix

When one of the women, Pernilla, learned that Simon had given her a fake watch, she told him everything she knew about him. She revealed that she knew that he was a scammer, so he threatened her over the phone.

Extreme Requests

One of the most bizarre moments in the film was when Simon decided that he needed to go into hiding for his safety. He knew that the authorities were onto him, and he needed something drastic to disguise himself. What should he do?

Courtesy of: Netflix

Well, he tried going to a plastic surgeon, of course! He wanted significant facial changes, but the surgeon refused because they figured that “only a criminal” would wish to have something so serious done to his face. If only the surgeon knew the truth of it!

The Homeless King

Once Simon was exposed, you would think that his days of lying and cheating would be over. Apparently not, as he continued to lie to one of the women, Ayleen, about how much money he had. He even told her that he was homeless…

Courtesy of: Netflix

…but, also, he was living at hostels costing $12 a night. He claimed that he visited the mall to eat leftovers from other people to try and get by. He gave himself the nickname of being the “homeless king”!

Shocking Revelations

For any American watching this documentary, the most shocking part of the whole affair was not the fact that this man swindled these women out of thousands of dollars. It was not even the fact that he did this to multiple women.

Courtesy of: Trackmann2 (Twitter)

It was the fact that these women were able to get $250 000 on their credit cards pretty easily! In the United States, getting funds this high will always cause collateral and numerous other problems as well. Simon was wise to keep his swindled only in Europe.

Mixed Emotions

Honestly, this show was so shocking from one moment to the next that our hearts will probably never be the same again. In one minute, we felt emotions of fear, then surprise, then utter outrage. The emotional rollercoaster never stopped for a minute!

Courtesy of:  Cinherondale (Twitter)/Polaris/Eye Vine/ Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

We’re glad that we were not the only ones feeling this way and that many other people felt the utter journey of feeling like we did. This meme summed it up perfectly and expressed the rollercoaster ride we were taken on.


We have such utter respect for Ayleen. She might have been conned out of vast amounts of cash by Simon, but she figured out how to get at back him in her own way. She gave Simon a taste of his own sweet medicine.

Courtesy of:  Sipho_Stuurman (Twitter)

We strongly feel that he did not like the taste of this one! The fact that she even had the guts to call him out in the movie was just…*chef’s kiss*. We applaud Ayleen and her incredible journey!


Obviously, not all of us would react in the same ways as the women in the film did. It seems like such a ridiculous situation for many of us – there’s no way we would loan money like that to anyone!

Jodieegrace (Twitter)

This response pretty much sums up our ideas perfectly. If anyone asked us for that amount of money, we would reply with, “damn, that’s crazy. Good luck, though.” It is one great way to keep yourself safe from scammers!

Getting Aggressive

Things took a pretty dark turn when Ayleen told Simon that she would not give him money anymore. Simon tried persuading her to loan him some cash by telling her that he was madly in love with her.

Courtesy of:  Netflix

When he realized that this would not work, he became much more vicious and began sending her nasty threats through voice messages. We were so shocked to see how dramatically his tone changed into his disgusting true self.

Master Manipulator

One of the ways that Simon managed to worm his way into each of the women’s lives was by pretending that they were destined to be together. Pernilla said she felt like they had “known each other for ten years.”

Courtesy of:  Netflix

After they had first met, she had no idea that Simon was stringing her along at the same time as another woman. He was indeed a master of manipulating people and making them feel how he wanted.

In The Stars

Many people strongly believe in the forces of astrology and think that the stars can tell us a lot about a person. Obviously, there is no scientific basis for this, but it is still fun to follow.

Courtesy of: Earthdombaby (Twitter)

For anyone who believes in horoscopes, it should come as no surprise that Simon is actually a Libra! We think that this makes a lot of sense, and we can imagine many people saying, “well, that makes a lot of sense.”

Before and After

It is pretty crazy to see how much Simon changed between his life of luxury to his life of poverty and homelessness. Looking at the first picture, it is not hard to see why these women believed he was rich.

Courtesy of: Netflix

In the first photo, he looks very sophisticated, like a man of business. The second shot almost does not even look like the same guy – but we can assure you that it is. He is just a master of disguise.

That One Friend

It is a fact – at one point in our lives, we have all had that friend who repeatedly tells us that they will “pay us back” for all the money that we have loaned to them over the years.

Courtesy of: Netflix

The truth is that they never actually do it, and the amount we loaned to them just gets higher and higher! We hope that nobody has a friend like Simon, though. If you do – get out of that friendship immediately!

My Enemies

Honestly, we were pretty surprised at how much Simon used the line “my enemies are after me” to try and escape any responsibility for his actions. It is almost like it became his catchphrase and excuse for anything at all.

Courtesy of: Ndoni_M (Twitter)

We would not be surprised if he already tried to use it in stores or just to regular people on the street. It probably would not work, however! It is a pretty strange excuse, and we wonder how he came up with it.

Karma Sucks

One of the greatest moments in the film was learning about how Ayleen, one of the duped women, was selling Simon’s stuff on eBay. At the same time, he was sending her voice messages and telling her about being homeless.

Courtesy of: BrittyJo (Twitter)

We can imagine that she felt a little like this meme. We are confident that she was glad to see that karma had her back. We feel zero sympathy for Simon and believe that he deserves all the pain that he got!

A Big Loan

If someone asked us for $30 000, we would react pretty negatively and be shocked no matter who they are. Unfortunately, that is not what Pernilla and so many other women did. Instead, they handed Simon all of the money he needed!

Courtesy of: Netflix

Pernilla had put aside some savings overtime to get a new apartment, but she gave it over to Simon when he asked. She thought he was her friend and that he needed some money to get out of a difficult situation.

Suspicious Woman

As we mentioned previously, the most recent round of cons that Simon performed was not even his first attempt. What was particularly strange was that one of the women previously conned met Cecilie and spoke to her about Simon.

Courtesy of: Netflix

You would think that this woman would tell Cecilie the truth – but no! She lied and said she’d had a child with Simon, telling Cecilie how great of a dad Simon was. In reality, the woman had testified against him.


Of course, the women were not stupid, and they did ask Simon back for the money he borrowed on numerous occasions. After Pernilla sent him $30 000, he asked for another $10 000. He later sent her $100 000 as payback.

Courtesy of: Netflix

It should come as no surprise that the money did not actually arrive since the bank transfer confirmation he sent was fake. Pernilla asked Simon what was going on, and he pretended he would sort things out in person. What a lie!

Multiple Victims

After the movie aired, an article was published about Simon that highlighted some of the scams that he had played on people. However, that was just the tip of the iceberg, as many victims came forward after it was published.

Courtesy of: Netflix

It turns out that Simon had tricked so many more people than was previously thought, and the number of victims quickly ran up into the hundreds. When the article was published, he was a wanted man in several places worldwide.

The Arrest

Honestly, this was probably the most significant moment in the entire film – seeing Simon get arrested. Justice has never tasted so sweet before! It is all because Ayleen was so clever with contacting the authorities that Simon was eventually caught.

Courtesy of: Netflix

Simon was planning to use a fake passport when traveling to Athens. Ayleen was more intelligent than she led on and quickly told the police that this would happen. They managed to snatch him when he touched down and took him away to be arrested.

The Truth

This meme seems pretty funny on the surface, but it is also rather sad. Simon probably felt so intelligent and happy when he tricked these poor women out of their money. He must have celebrated it with a smile.

Courtesy of: Simon_leviev_official (Instagram)

His trick of blaming things “on his enemies” appears to have worked time and time again, mainly because he sent photos pretending to have been “attacked” by one of them. What a horrible individual this man truly is to go to the lengths he did.

It Couldn’t Be Me

When watching something like The Tinder Swindler, it is pretty easy for us on the couch to feel confident that nothing like that would ever happen to us. After all, we would never fork over that amount of money to someone so easily!

Courtesy of: Thamsia (Twitter)

The funny thing is that in reality, even if we did want to support our boyfriend in his time of need, it wouldn’t happen. This is because we would never be approved to take out such huge loans in the first place!


Another spectacular moment was when Simon called himself the “homeless king.” We felt so much joy at seeing how far Simon had fallen since he deserved all of those terrible misfortunes. We bet Ayleen was pretty happy, too! Karma

Courtesy of: MC236754 (Twitter)

Of course, it is possible that this was just another trick to try and manipulate Ayleen into giving him some more money. Even so, it was great to see that karma had taken revenge on this nasty man. We are glad she did not bend and give him what he was asking for.

Rich Fathers

One of the ways that Simon initially drew women like Cecilie into his scam was by pretending to be the son of a rich man. Namely, the son of Lev Leviev, one of the members of the LLD Diamonds company.

Courtesy of: Netflix

You should already know the truth of the situation by now. He really has no relation at all to the LLD Diamonds group nor any member that is part of the Leviev family. It was all just another elaborate hoax.


Our next moment was particularly shocking because it involved Simon lying to Cecilie during a trip together to Amsterdam. She had given him some money, but then he pretended a “security breach” made his current security status unsafe.

Courtesy of: Netflix

The truth of the matter is that he used this as an elaborate excuse to ditch Cecilie in Amsterdam and fly to Stockholm instead. When he got there, he used all of Cecilie’s money to go on a night out to the club with Pernilla.

The Truth Begins

After realizing that she had been scammed and had reported this to American Express, Cecilie approached a Norwegian news corporation titled VG to share her story. They published a story about his scams and analyzed Simon’s manipulative methods.

Courtesy of: Netflix

To start with, Simon played the “emotional con” by pretending to be in love with these women, then asked for a small amount of money after building trust. This amount gradually got higher and higher, until it was into the thousands.

How Far?

One of the scariest details in the movie is that we honestly do not know how far Simon’s scams went. Sure, we heard the story of three women, but we know for a fact that there were more out there.

Courtesy of: Netflix

The scams shown in the movie were the tip of the iceberg, and we would not be surprised if there were hundreds of other victims out there – if not thousands. This man is just so cruel.

The Game is Up

We cannot even imagine how Ayleen felt when the truth of things was finally revealed to her. She had just visited Simon and was sitting, waiting for a flight, when she started reading an article about a tinder swindler.

Courtesy of: Netflix

She began to get concerned when lots of the details in the article matched her own life, right down to the videos and texts that Simon had sent to Cecilie. When she saw his picture, she realized what had happened.

Scams Upon Scams

In reality, so many men and women out there play a similar game as Simon. They are master manipulators, and they are so good at getting other people to give them what they want. It is evil.

Courtesy of: Realsibusiso_z (Twitter)

According to this one user, if you are a woman from South Africa, you will probably have experienced one of these scammers before! It honestly shocks us how truly horrid some individuals can be in order to get their hands on money.

Fake Injury

One of the ways that Simon tricked the women into thinking he was in danger was by sending fake photos of “attacks” that had happened. This included an image of his bodyguard, Peter, who was hurt by a knife.

Courtesy of: Maryth3stallion (Twitter)

We are not sure exactly how these photos would have looked, but we strongly feel that it probably did not look as pathetic as this one did! It is pretty funny to imagine that it was, though.

Try It Out

After seeing the documentary, so many of us thought that we would try the same techniques out on our loved ones, too. After all, if Simon can do this to complete strangers, then indeed our loved ones have our back?

Courtesy of: Knowyourmeme.com

Unfortunately not, as this one user found out! She asked her long-term boyfriend for some money and pretended that her enemies were after her. His only response was to tell her to shut up – ouch! That has got to hurt!

Not Enough

Really, we are not sure how these women even had so much extra cash laying around. In the case of Cecilie, she had to take out loans to make things work, but Pernilla just had all that cash saved; we’re obviously doing something wrong here.

Courtesy of: Knowyourmeme.com

If we were in that situation, there is absolutely no way that we would be able to give Simon so much money. Like the meme says, the best we could do is give Simon $50. He probably wouldn’t be happy!


By far, the craziest reveal was at the end of the film. Simon was sentenced to 15 months in jail for his fake passport but was released after only five months due to “good behavior.” He flew back to Israel…

Courtesy of: Netflix

…where he currently lives as a free man, having scammed an estimated $10 million out of innocent victims. No charges have ever been put against him for his scams on the women in the documentary. How horrible is that?!