TV | February 8, 2022 10:55 am

What Is the Tinder Swindler and Why Is He Banned From Dating Apps?

In the wake of the new Netflix documentary, Tinder has confirmed that alleged scammer Simon Leviev is banned from the app

In this photo illustration a Tinder logo seen displayed on a smartphone on top of a computer keyboard.
No Tinder Swindlers here.
Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

“Tinder Swindler” Simon Leviev and I don’t have much in common. He’s a con man whose Tinder-based romance schemes are now the subject of a buzzy new Netflix documentary, and I am but a humble sex and dating writer. One thing Leviev and I do have in common, however, is the fact that we are both banned from Tinder. I myself was unjustly banned three years ago for changing my bio to “I’m sorry but my circumstances have changed and I can no longer afford to date men for free,” while the Tinder Swindler was banned for the arguably much more egregious offense of posing as a billionaire to scam women out of money.

Since the release of the documentary last week, in which it was alleged the scammer is currently back on the app, Tinder has confirmed to multiple outlets that Leviev has been banned from the platform. “We have conducted internal investigations and can confirm Simon Leviev is no longer active on Tinder under any of his known aliases,” a Tinder spokeswoman said. Moreover, Leviev is reportedly banned from other dating apps under Tinder’s parent company, Match Group, including Match.com, Plenty of Fish, Hinge and OkCupid. According to the Wall Street Journal, Tinder claims Leviev has been banned from the app since 2019, despite the documentary’s claims that the scammer remains at large in the online dating community. The spokesperson also said Leviev unsuccessfully attempted to create an account in 2021.

The Tinder Swindler, which premiered on Netflix this month, details the experiences of three separate women who met Leviev on the dating app between 2018 and 2019. All three women claimed to have had similar, but separate, experiences with Leviev. According to their stories, Leviev told the women he was the son of a billionaire and whisked them off on extravagant dates, including private jet rides and dinners at exclusive hotels throughout Europe. Once they had formed a closer relationship, Leviev would message a woman claiming to be in trouble and ask for money, which he never paid back.

The lesson is: don’t give money to men. Especially not seemingly rich ones. Also, I think in light of these revelations, I deserve credit for making it very clear to prospective matches that I want them to give me their money up front instead of trying to con them out of it. If anyone needs me, I will be impatiently awaiting my long overdue apology from Tinder.