The entire world got shaken up by The Tinder Swindler, one of the most-watched Netflix documentaries about self-acclaimed Israeli diamond mogul, a fake billionaire Simon Leviev. Between 2017 and 2019, Simon allegedly conned women he met on Tinder to an estimated $10 million.
Sadly, many men out there, like Simon, only want to use you for one thing or another. These guys will use every trick in the book to get what they want. So, you'd better be ready.
Simon Leviev is Not Your Regular Fraudster
Most stories about online dating fraudsters usually involve middle-aged women who fall into the trap of meeting a man online. They never meet in person. Suddenly, after a while, they receive a message saying he is in trouble, his family member has cancer, or something else life-threatening has happened. They wire him money, and they never see him again.
However, Simon Leviev is not your typical fraudster. He is a perfectly calculated man. He presented himself as an extremely successful, wealthy man.
The Tinder Swindler protagonist made his victims believe his story by taking them on private jets and 5-star hotels. He promised to marry them and planned to build a home together. And just when his victims thought they were living a true life fairytale, he made them max their credit cards by spending their house deposits and getting in debt.
Here are five ways you can protect yourself from fraudsters like Simon Leviev.
1. Don't Believe in Fairytales
Pretty Woman and 50 Shades of Grey have sold an idea of an incredibly wealthy man coming and sweeping a woman off her feet. A man like Simon understands how women's psychology works, and he uses that to his advantage.
Simon knows that many women got convinced by Disney and Hollywood that if you're special, pretty, or lucky, one day Prince Charming may come and shower you with gifts, oversized bouquets, and spontaneous trips abroad. It is understandable why this fairytale idea of love is appealing. However, you should ask yourself how realistic it is.
Healthy long-term relationships require compromise, shared hardship, and ongoing communication lessons. Usually, if it's too good to be true, it's the sign to run as far and as fast as you can.
2. Educate yourself
Modern dating may feel daunting. There's so much advice out there about ghosting, gaslighting, love-bombing, catfishing, and many other confusing terms. Instead of staying up to date with the latest dating trends, go back to basics and watch people, study psychology.
When you understand why people do what they do, when you know how to spot a narcissist or a psychopath, the signs of someone being not genuine, you will know how to avoid Tinder swindlers.
There are so many different resources out there. You can read books, watch videos, and listen to podcasts. If your budget allows, therapy can be life-changing. Not only will you be able to understand how your traumas determine your choices in romantic partners, but by getting a better insight into who you are and why you do what you do, you will be able to understand others. You will never become a victim to someone like Simon.
3. Trust your instincts
After making their first significant money transaction, Simon's victims mentioned that something didn't feel right. However, instead of trusting their intuition and questioning him, they decided to make another transaction following his demands and another transaction until they got into a debt that would haunt them for decades.
There is a reason why you feel safe and comfortable around certain people and why others could make you question even your own name. Your intuition is there for a reason, and when something does not feel right, it is important to address it.
If you are with your romantic partner who is making requests that make you feel uncomfortable, and you have tightness in your chest area or your tummy, speak up. Do not hold back. Address your concerns.
At this point, you can tell if he loves you by his actions. If he cares about you, he won't say you are crazy. He will explain calmly, and he will not force you to do something you are uncomfortable with. However, you have to trust your instincts and accept that you may disappoint people in the process.
4. Stay in your lane
Simon set the tone of movie-like luxury on the first date. He made it clear that this is his standard and his everyday life.
If you are a regular person, you are not used to this type of luxury. The documentary did show Simon's victims taking pictures and videos and showing them to their friends because they were impressed. However, as time went by, they almost got used to it, and for them, it did not seem so extraordinary that a man was flying them to another country without any notice or was spending thousands on champagne.
They forgot who they were and where they came from. They became victims by buying into an idea that $20 thousand is not a large amount of money because Simon spends that much in one day, so it is OK to send that money to him. Just because someone buys shoes that cost your month's rent, it does not mean that you have to follow their lead. Stay in your lane to avoid being conned by men like Simon.
5. Learn about his history
You can tell a lot about how a man will treat you by learning about his relationship with his mother and his ex.
This does not have to be a first-date conversation, but you want to find out how he speaks about instrumental women in his life when the time is right. If there's a lot of bitterness, it should be a massive red flag if he only says negative things.
After working with many men and women who struggle to create healthy relationships, I could suggest that many women rejected Simon Leviev. After having experienced rejection too many times, he decided to create his world domination plan to seduce women and then use them for their money as a form of revenge.
Indeed, this is just a theory. However, a rejected man who struggles with mommy issues is capable of unimaginable endeavors, and Simon Leviev could meet that profile. Learn your date's history to protect yourself.
Whether you're fascinated by the fact that Simon Leviev only served four months in prison for this Ponzi scheme or that he has a girlfriend who believes in his innocence, you have to educate yourself. Look for suspicious signs. Never ignore your intuition or your budget to protect yourself from con men like Simon, The Tinder Swindler.