‘The Tinder Swindler’: Why We Can’t Look Away from Netflix’s Latest True-Crime Documentary
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THE TINDER SWINDLER ON NETFLIX
I'm a sucker for a good documentary, especially of the true-crime variety. You name it, I've seen it or it's on my watch list. I'm always cruising various streaming platforms for new documentaries and watching YouTube true-crime series while getting ready for work.
While on Netflix this weekend, I came across one that immediately had my attention. It's called 'The Tinder Swindler', and it is a WILD ride.
So, the basis of this documentary is this man named Simon. He is on social media portraying himself as a very wealthy man, posting pictures on private jets, on islands, in fancy cars, and wearing expensive designer clothes. That's how he hooks these women because what woman doesn't want the luxury life?
There are three women in this story. The first woman swipes right on Simon in London and meets up with him at a fancy five-star hotel. He is who he says he is (so far), and they have a great time and end up starting a relationship. She got to experience the lavish life, but at what cost?
Things turn sour quickly when Simon says he has enemies, and he needs money to help outrun and outplay them, so to speak. Here's the kicker: Simon says he is the son of a Russian-Israeli diamond tycoon. That's where his wealth comes from. This woman, his girlfriend, sends him the money. A lot of money. Over time, she ends up sending Simon six figures before she discovers his true intentions.
Meanwhile, Simon is still on Tinder (shocker). Another woman swipes right on Simon and has the same lavish, expensive experience. It comes out that the money Simon was taking from the first woman in London (she thinks he is her boyfriend), is being used to pay for all the trips, cars, and luxury for the second woman! The audacity. Once again though, those damn enemies of Simon are coming after him. Wash, rinse, repeat: Simon swindles her too.
You hear about these Tinder scandals all the time. Seeing one being told because it has happened to countless women is fascinating. He scammed millions of dollars from several women, and they're still attempting to get their money back through the courts.
There's a third woman in the documentary, but I won't go into detail about her involvement. She is the hero of the story. You'll have to watch to find out what she did to stop the scams of Simon, and how she did it.
In fact, up until five days ago, Simon was still on Instagram...flaunting his wealth like his entire existence wasn't exposed for millions to see. Oh yeah, he only got 5 measly months in jail for these crimes.
Here's my take: I would NEVER send any amount of money to any man. On top of that, I would also NEVER send money to a man that says he is a son of a diamond tycoon. These women took out loans and increased their credit card debt until they're now in the hole for six figures. I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that these women kept sending Simon money. I was audibly yelling at my TV watching this documentary.
On the other hand, I am empathetic. These women are victims. Simon preyed on their emotions and manipulated them for monetary gain. That's disgusting on any level, but since it was to this massive scale, he deserves way more than 5 months in jail. These women deserve more than just some of their money back. The only solid thing to come out of this is that Simon has been banned from Tinder and Match. It's good to know that he can't scam anyone else in this manner.
The bottom line: online dating is scary. You hear countless horror stories of men and women being scammed, or even killed, through these dating apps. The women are still involved in legal action against Simon and rebuilding their lives. They probably will be for years to come. The Tinder Swindler is a cautionary tale that's as old as time: you never really know who you're dealing with over the internet.