Woman who dated The Tinder Swindler reveals five red flags as new Netflix doc captivates viewers

A gripping new crime documentary on Netflix has captivated viewers around the world as subscribers have been left astounded by the fraudulent actions of The Tinder Swindler, Simon Leviev.

Leviev – real name Shimon Hayut – duped unsuspecting women on the dating app as he convinced them he was heir to a diamond mining fortune before persuading them to loan him tens of thousands of dollars which he never paid back.

For one woman, who claims to have gone on a date with the ‘Prince of Diamonds’ in 2018, the unsettling experience of watching the documentary hit home as she realized she could have been another victim.

As reported in The Mirror, Valeria Calpanchay, she says she spotted a number of concerning red flags early doors – and made a quick escape.

simon leiev
simon leiev

Originally from Argentina, Valeria has lived in Germany since 2018. She initially made the move for a “work and travel experience” before deciding to stay long-term.

Valeria currently resides in the capital city of Berlin, however, for her first year in Germany she lived in Munich. It was here where she says she met the notorious ‘homeless king’.

She recalled how she was still new to Munich and keen to meet people when she matched with Leviev on Tinder.

Valeria Calpanchay
Valeria Calpanchay

She revealed: “I had a Tinder account by then so I saw this guy called ‘Simon’, who seemed good looking and that he traveled a lot. I also love travelling, I have been to many countries, so I thought it would be nice to meet up. I was curious.”

According to Valeria, Leviev “immediately” asked for her WhatsApp number, and they mainly communicated through WhatsApp in the run-up to their date. Things moved fast from there.

Valeria said: “Our date was very spontaneous, and it happened a day after we matched. I had just finished work and he texted saying if I was free to meet up. I think he sent a voice message.”

Although she “didn’t have any serious suspicions” at the time, she “was expecting maybe he could be not who he said he was”.

She said: “My first thought was ‘millionaires are not flashing their money on Tinder… because they don’t need to’. So I was curious to see what he was actually like.”

Valeria Calpanchay
Valeria Calpanchay

The Tinder Swindler Simon Leviev
The Tinder Swindler Simon Leviev

In keeping with his opulent tastes, she says suggested they meet outside a hotel on one of the most expensive streets in Munich, in an area filled with designer shops.

They then walked to a restaurant to grab a coffee. It was at this point she started to develop a fuller impression of him.

Valeria said: “I remember we sat for five minutes and then he suggested we go to another place because he didn’t like the menu.

“Then I went to a fancy cigar store with him because he wanted to smoke one. After that we went into a mall, where we finally sat at a cafe, which seemed like an expensive place as well.”

She remembers Leviev as “a talkative guy”, but noted that he “was more into talking about himself”, remarking that it appeared “he wanted to give the impression that he was “mysterious”.

At one point, Valeria asked Leviev where he was from – but he refused to give her a straight answer.

Other red flags started to emerge, including that he had two mobile phones and openly took a couple of bizarre calls while still on the date.

She claims Leviev discussed million-dollar transactions on these calls, which she found. “Who talks about money in front of a stranger?” she asks.

She added: “It was also weird that he would talk about other girls, saying that they always sent him photos, he even showed me some. I wouldn’t trust someone who shows other girls private photos.”

Valeria Calpanchay
Valeria Calpanchay

Their date lasted about an hour, and while she says there was “nothing too concerning” about their first meeting she couldn’t work him out. She said: “I was still not sure if he was genuine or not.”

But it wasn’t the last time she heard from the trickster, and claims he messaged her later that night inviting her to a party at his Munich home.

She said: “It was already very late and I was in my pajamas, so of course, I didn’t feel like going.

“We had a little conversation via WhatsApp but I really didn’t feel like going so he said something like ‘I thought you were more spontaneous than that'”.

Valeria first read DW’s original article about ‘The Tinder Swindler’ after somebody shared it on a Munich-related Facebook group. She instantly recognized the conman as the man she’d been on a date with, and was “shocked” by his behaviour.

After finding out who Leviev really was beneath the flashy clothes and bravado, Valeria was naturally “surprised”, but then remembered that she “knew there was something not so right about him. So everything made sense”.

She didn’t tune into the Netflix documentary immediately after its release, catching up with it for the very first time on Monday, February 7. She was already aware of the story and Leviev’s deceitful nature, but still couldn’t help but find it to be a shocking watch.

Valeria said: “I am shocked that many women would believe him, but my theory is that he had many tinder dates in a day and would carefully choose his victims because not everyone can fall for him. He was a professional.”

Leviev has released a statement following the Netflix show, which reads: “I will share my side of the story in the next few days, but I’ve 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.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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