Two smartphones side by side with images of neon heart on both screens.
Image by Amrothman via Pixabay
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Two smartphones side by side with images of neon heart on both screens.
Image by Amrothman via Pixabay

Some may find the Netflix documentary eerily reminiscent of their own experience on the dating app Tinder.

Think of a time when you downloaded a dating app. What was your experience like? What was the first response you received? What made you interested in that person at the time? Did they add to your life or take away from it? There are a lot of questions to consider, but as you recall your experience, remember that everything will be okay. This article will walk you through three individual paths. Just know that you are not alone in the struggle to find someone to love, who also loves you, and can share the experiences of life with.  But as the “Tinder Swindler” reveals, it’s important to be cautious.

The Criminal

If you haven’t watched the Netflix documentary “The Tinder Swindler,” then you are missing out. The documentary is about a man named Simon Leview who presents himself as a wealthy man working in the diamond industry. He’s good-looking, has money and lives a luxurious life. He meets many women on Tinder, asking them out when he’s matched with them. He talks about being the CEO of LLD Diamonds and claims that his dad is Lev Review, known as the “King of Diamonds.”

His life is full of experiences most would be envious of — business meetings, traveling, private jets and fancy cars. He uses his possessions and lifestyle to lure women in, making them feel special by taking them out to fancy places and giving them gifts.

However, the woman he interacts with does not know that his money isn’t his own but is from another female. The company he’s talking about doesn’t exist, and his father is not the man he claims that he is.

After charming these women, he then asks for a large sum of money, claiming he’s in danger and needs the money to protect himself. Now, if you were a woman that loved him and does not want him to die, you would do whatever he asks, but why?

Well, because it’s the right thing to do. Sadly, nowadays, such claims are the product of scammers hoping to pull on their victims’ heartstrings. Being young only adds to the danger, as you just want to meet someone that has things going for them. 

The Victims

The three women in the documentary that discussed their experiences were Cecillie Fjellhoy, Pernilla Sjohoim and Ayleen Charlotte. The women also talked about how they worked together to put the Tinder Swindler in prison; unfortunately, he was convicted of fraud instead of the crime he really committed.

People magazine stated that Leview, “allegedly conned an estimated $10 million out of women he attracted on the popular dating app, Tinder.” Since the documentary’s release, you would think that he would apologize and stop what he was doing.

The opposite happened — he went to jail, was released, and then continued on doing what he had been doing before. The victims are still fighting against paying back debts that they didn’t even accrue themselves.

The Tinder Swindler Breaks His Silence

The true-crime film is difficult to watch, especially knowing that the three women did not get justice for what he did to them. In an interview, he made the shocking claim, “I was just a single guy that wanted to meet some girls on Tinder. I am not a Tinder Swindler.”

The interview will air on “Inside Edition,” with part one premiering on Feb. 21 and part two on Feb. 22. The interview will explore his side of the story and why his model girlfriend remains by his side.

What You Can Do To Protect Yourself

While the Tinder Swindler is perhaps an exceptional example, anyone can fall prey to someone with bad intentions. The following are three perspectives I collected by way of phone calls and text messages from both millennials and Gen Z regarding their personal experience using dating apps.

 

Claudia, age 29; Microsoft Service

What led you to start using dating apps?

“I would get on dating apps when I was single. But I was in a place in my life where I wasn’t looking for something serious.”

Have you been able to have a good relationship while online?

“Yes, so my most current ex, we met on a dating app. We were together for three years.

Wow, that is awesome; how were you able to stay together for that long?

“It was one of those things that were an instant connection.”

How do you check if a person is not catfishing?

“I’ll just randomly facetime them. I’ll call you randomly and not give you time to prepare or put someone else on the phone.”

What made you want to share your experience?

“I think their experience that a lot of people don’t talk about. Depending on the age, online relationships are still taboo.”

 

Zahra, age 24; Registered Nurse

When did you start using dating apps?

“Probably when I was in my late teens, early 20s.”

What do you look for in a dating app?

“At first, I was looking for a connection; it could be friendship or relationship. I was at a stage in my life where I was going through a lot, so I was seeking connections that could fill the void I had in me.”

Name three lessons you have learned

“Value your time and don’t take someone ignoring you for ‘they’re busy.’ The right person will ALWAYS have time, make time or communicate changes in their routine.”

Why are you sharing your experience?

“Because it’s important to share our experiences, it could help someone who’s seeking guidance, and it could also save someone in need of saving.”

 

Julian, age 24; Production Manager

Have you been able to build a relationship online?

“I have been able to make friends but not serious relationships. If you’re on a dating app and I get you to go on dating and I see that you’re easy, I’ll take you back to my place”

Have you met a female you were interested in building a relationship with?

“I have, but seeing her actions, how she carries herself, and how she interacts with other guys at the club. Then I realize this girl is not meant for long-term relationship.”

What three lessons have you learned?

Don’t use your real name. Don’t be too confident with leaving your stuff in the car, like your phone and wallet. Make sure someone has your location.”

What made you want to share your experience?

“Because of the documentary called ‘The Tinder Swindler.’ I think it’s up to a woman to do her research and make sure she does not fall into a guy’s traps.”

 

Be safe out there, make wise decisions, and keep in mind that your safety is important to your family and friends. Also, do your research about who you spend time with — and remember it’s not the dating apps you should fear, but the people.

 

Writer Profile

Amandine Shadia

The University of Arizona Global Campus
Journalim and Mass Communication

Amandine Shadia is a courageous writer who loves to educate herself about many topics. Shadia can take on both bad or good that comes in her life. She is a senior at The University of Arizona Global Campus.

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