Women conned by Tinder Swindler Simon Leviev have started up a GoFundMe page in an attempt to pay of their debts after losing thousands to the scammer.
Cecilie Fjellhøy, Ayleen Koeleman, and Pernilla Sjoholm all fell victim to the conman’s ploy that he was the son of a billionaire diamond merchant after matching with him on the dating app.
The convicted fraudster, also known as Shimon Heyada Hayut, lived a life of luxury and would travel the globe with the funds he acquired, the Mirror reports.
He also claimed that he was not able to use his own cash as his enemies would trace it back to him, the Netflix documentary reveals.
Now three of his victims – who shared their stories in the jaw-dropping show – have launched a GoFundMe.
The now 30-year-old duped them into handing over massive amounts of cash after convincing them that he was in huge danger.
Cecilie said she ended up receiving psychiatric care and claims he conned her out of £185,000 in just a matter of weeks.
The documentary sparked a huge amount of sympathy for the women and the trio are now keen to recoup their losses, with some taking out huge credit card loans to support the fraudster.
The trio now hopes to raise £600,000 to fix their finances, with £34,000 raised so far on GoFundMe.
The fundraiser reads: ‘You’re probably here because you’ve heard about our story, and we appreciate you taking the time to search and find this page.
‘The past few days have been a whirlwind, and we three (Ayleen, Pernilla and Cecilie) have been completely shocked and floored by the flood of compassion and support from everyone.
‘The sheer love is more than we ever expected, and we appreciate you all so much.
‘After careful consideration, and many chats, we have decided to start this GoFundMe fundraiser. So many people reached out to us asking if we had one, and it hadn’t occurred to us to make one prior to this.
‘However, we’ve spotted plenty of fakes, which makes us uneasy. We don’t want more people getting disappointed.
‘We realize there are a thousand other worthy causes to donate to and remain forever grateful if you choose to donate to this one. All we want are our lives back.’
One supporter wrote: ‘I applaud these courageous women for exposing this dangerous man and fighting against fraud. My heart goes out for the nightmare they have been through.’
Another added: ‘Just saw the Netflix documentary – shocking! Hang in there you three. Anyone can get swindled. So stoked you all fought back!’
In 2015, Finnish authorities charged him with defrauding three women, who did not appear on the show and sentenced him to two years in jail.
In 2017, he was returned to Israel, where he was to be re-charged and sentenced, but assumed a different identity and fled the country.
He was extradited back to Israel in October 2019, after fleeing the country in 2017 to avoid trial for various fraud-related offences.
The conman was sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay $43,289 in compensation but released after five months.
The serial fraudster racked up thousands of followers on Instagram before closing his account following backlash from the Netflix documentary.
Shimon’s last message read: ‘Thank you for all your support. 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. Until then, please keep an open mind and heart.’
But it seems he may struggle to find love in the future as TMZ reported that he’s been booted off the apps.
A rep for Match Group – owners of OkCupid, Hinge, PlentyofFish, OurTime, Meetic, Pairs, and Match – told the American site that Simon has been permanently banned from all of their properties.
And a Tinder spokesman said he was also banned from the app he met the women on originally.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.