Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you have probably already heard about Tinder Swindler, the trending Netflix true crime documentary. If you haven’t watched it yet, it’s a must see, especially if you are a single lady looking for love online.
This gripping documentary tells the story of how 31-year-old Simon Leviev conned woman around the globe out of thousands of pounds, via credit cards and loans, leaving them with crippling amounts of debt. Despite the luxurious lifestyle and endless possibilities portrayed, it highlights how online dating can go wrong, very quickly.
Fast cars, luxury brands, enviable locations, and private jets – Simon Leviev’s life appeared to be one of a hugely successful businessman. Falsely claiming to be the ‘Prince of Diamonds’, the son of a Russian-Israeli billionaire and diamond mogul, Simon seduced his victims with his extravagant, lavish lifestyle, gaining their trust and love, before deceiving them out of their money. Contrary to the persona portrayed, in reality, Simon’s real name is Shimon Yehuda Hayut, an Israeli conman convicted of theft, forgery and fraud going back several years.
After Simon’s victims made the regrettable decision to swipe right, they were duped into falling for him through his use of clever stories, convincing videos, and continuous lies to manipulate, persuade and exploit them. He would shower the women with lavish trips and gifts, which were all paid for by his other unsuspecting victims. He’d then ask for more and more money under the guise of needing to protect his identity due to security concerns and stating that enemies were ‘out to get him’.
Romance fraudsters are usually patient and often groom victims for many months, building a relationship and establishing trust, before attempting to steal their money. Conveying themselves as vulnerable and in need of help, these callous individuals often claim to have a job that requires long periods of travel to explain the long time lapses between contact – they may pretend that they are in the armed forces or are an offshore oil-rig worker for instance. After months of grooming, they will then ask for help financially, whether it’s an issue with a visa, health problems or simply getting a flight home to them.
Unfortunately, these stories are no longer few and far between.
In the first half of 2021 alone, over £15 million was lost to romance scams. Two in five people who dated someone they met online in the last year said they were asked to give or lend money, despite having never met in-person. Of those that were asked to give or lend money by someone they met online, over half did so – putting them at risk of being a victim of a romance scam.
However, the good news is that there is a better and safer way to meet that special person, without the need for an online presence. Matchmakers and introduction agencies are fast becoming the option of choice for successful professionals across the UK and it’s easy to see why. There is no need to have an online presence or spend time writing a profile or uploading photos to a website. Instead, an experienced and professional matchmaker will do all the hard work for you to get you dating ready.
Providing a safer experience with ID-checked introductions, most matchmaking agencies will also carry out other checks on clients including looking into their digital footprint to ensure that any individuals are legitimate and who they say they are, to offer a safer and more secure dating journey for their clients.
Taking the guesswork out of hours of scrolling through profiles online and making polite conversation with potential dates, your matchmaker will get to work sourcing and selecting the right introductions for you – so you can sit back, relax, and wait for genuine introductions to be brought to you knowing that each and every one has the potential to be that perfect partner you’ve been searching for.
If you are single and looking for a safer way to date, then get in touch with our friendly team today and find out how we can help you find genuine and honest connections with single people who share the same aspirations, values and lifestyle as you.