Arrest warrant issued for Tinder scammer
After being accused of yet another false identity, Shimon Heyada Hayut finally received an arrest warrant in Spain.
If you watched The Twinder scammer, you probably should have asked yourself a number of questions. Naturally, our first inclination was to wonder how someone could be tricked into taking out numerous loans worth thousands of dollars for someone they barely knew, but had just had a date or two with and FaceTimed from time to time. The ability for glimpses of a life of luxury and fine dining to accelerate intimacy was startling, and perhaps says more about our culture that seems to pride itself on a highly curated instagram aesthetic rather than the state of online dating and its pitfalls But seeing the blatant abuse of power and deception practiced by Shimon Heyada Hayut – otherwise known by his pseudonym, Simon Leviev – and how he took advantage of vulnerable women was shocking and most could only ask : how did he get away with it for so long?
It turns out the notorious scammer is said to have finally met his downfall after being arrested in Spain on charges of forging a driving licence. At 31, Hayut was questioned by police after he was found using a fake ID card which gave him the name Michael Bilton. At the time, Hayut was driving a Maserati with a female companion – hardly news to those who have seen the gripping Netflix series.
Hayut was allowed to be released after his arrest on condition that he provide the address of his base in Malaga to the local police. They have since requested the opening of a criminal investigation by a court in the Spanish port of Algeciras.
Police apparently recognized Hayut in the Netflix documentary that made him the infamous con man he is known to the world over today. The Netflix series examined how Israeli-born Hayut used Tinder to lure victims into tricking them with huge sums of money, amounting to $10 million in 2017 alone, according to reports from The Times of Israel. The pseudonym he used at that time – Simon Leviev – was that of a fictional son of real-life diamond empire billionaire Lev Leviev. Since the release of the documentary series, the Leviev family has been suing Hayut for defamation and invasion of privacy.
While you’d assume the Netflix documentary and subsequent outrage on social media platforms directed at Hayut would be enough to see him change his ways and come across as a reformed man, it instead seems to have had little impact on his quest for self-esteem. money and staging even more deceptive stunts. Even after his Tinder scams were reported on the show, he was arrested in 2019 after being accused of using a fake passport in Greece, where he was later extradited to Israel.
After his arrest, Hayut told Israel’s Channel 12, “I have the right to choose whatever name I want, I’ve never presented myself as anyone’s son, but people use their imaginations. Maybe their hearts were broken in the process… I never took a dime from them; these women had fun in my company, they traveled and were able to see the world at my expense.
It can be disconcerting to watch Hayut continue to dodge responsibility for his actions or attempt to repay the women he cheated on by sending staggering sums of money, but luckily there is good news: he has at least been banned from Tinder. Now you can glide with peace of mind knowing that the Tinder Swindler isn’t an option offering elaborate dinners, private jet travel, and diamonds.