‘The Tinder Swindler’ Simon Leviev Pushes Back Against Netflix Documentary Accusations: ‘They Should Have Arrested Me’
Shimon Hayut, who went by the alias Simon Leviev and was the subject of Netflix’s “The Tinder Swindler,” is pushing back against the claims in the true-crime documentary.
On Monday, Hayut’s Instagram account was peppered with responses to the documentary, which premiered on February 2. But within hours, the entire account had been removed.
“If I was a fraud why would I act on Netflix,” the text read in an Instagram story shared to his followers. “I mean they should have arrested me when we were still shooting. It’s high time the ladies start saying the truth.”
He continued: “If you can’t give them the world they want they’ll turn yours to hell. I will be addressing the whole world on Friday. Stay tuned and tag others.”
In another story seen by Insider prior to its removal, Hayut added: “Say my name #simontruth.”
Representatives for Instagram did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment about why Hayut’s account (which was featured in parts of the Netflix documentary) has been removed or deactivated.
As shown at the end of “The Tinder Swindler,” Hayut was asked by the documentary creators to take part in the feature, but his only response was a voice message that accused the team of defamation. It’s unclear at this point what Hayut’s Instagram mention of “acting” or “shooting” anything on Netflix was in reference to.
“The Tinder Swindler” follows a group of women who set out to track down a dating app user who they say tricked them out of millions of dollars with the help of the media and local police.
As previously reported by Insider, Finnish investigative journalists, with help from women who said they were conned by Hayut, found out his true identity in 2019. He was arrested and convicted in Finland in 2015 on charges of defrauding several women, serving two years in prison. In December of 2019, he was also sentenced to 15 months in prison in Israel after twice fleeing the country to avoid charges of theft, forgery, and fraud in 2011 and again in 2017. Hayut served five of the 15 months before being released in May of 2020.
Netflix’s “The Tinder Swindler” documentary alleged he’s scammed an estimated $10 million from women he’s dated and families he’s worked for, and he has been reported to police in seven different countries.
On Friday, Variety reported that Tinder said Hayut is no longer actively using the app.
“We have conducted internal investigations and can confirm Simon Leviev is no longer active on Tinder under any of his known aliases,” Tinder said in a statement to Variety.
After the documentary premiered on Wednesday, Hayut said his social media account was hacked. On Friday, he thanked his followers for their “support,” adding: “I will share my side of the story in the next few days when I have sorted out the best and most respectful way to tell it, both to the involved parties and myself.”
By Monday morning, his account was active once again. Many Instagram posts from Hayut’s account, who still identifies himself as Leviev, appeared on his story page throughout Monday morning and afternoon. Then, without warning, the account was gone again.
“The Tinder Swindler” is available now on Netflix.
Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.
Content courtesy of Insider & NFH Digital Team