Written by on April 25, 2022

People have been cheating others out of their money or other property since the dawn of time. It’s human nature to want things and try to find ways to get them even if they are devious means. Whether you carry through with them is a totally different manner. Folks will routinely say that you can’t trust rich people and that they will get what they want simply because they have money. What they forget is that the money that most have was earned through their job, and done so legally. It’s not their fault that their job pays what it does or that they have success at their profession. Not everyone that is rich got their wealth through nefarious ways or by cheating people. The worst rich people are the ones that aren’t rich at all. A few weeks ago I wrote about Anna Delvey and the show “Inventing Anna” which was a true story drama written about her fleecing the elite rich in the U.S. and around the world. It has been a huge hit for Netflix. Another documentary on Netflix that basically goes hand in hand with that show is “The Tinder Swindler”. This is the story of Simon Leviev who lives in Europe and is the son of a diamond broker family. Basically, his father is a billionaire known the world over for finding and selling diamonds. Simon is very busy and always going to different countries to make deals in the diamond business. Since he’s so busy his best way to try and be social and meet women is using the dating app, Tinder. Many young singles nowadays use these types of apps to match up with someone to date because they get information up front on likes and dislikes so that they don’t feel they’re wasting time with someone that they will never connect with. Simon is so busy that Tinder helps him manage his busy life and show off his lavish lifestyle. He’s good looking, dresses well, and is very charming and likable in real life. What’s not to like?

If there wasn’t any problem we wouldn’t have this documentary. “The Tinder Swindler” has become not only a show on Netflix that keeps popping up in their top 10 list for the last few months, but has also become a pop culture saying. If you followed the Anna Delvey story and wondered how she got away with it, then this documentary will really make you wonder how these con artists make it look so easy. These aren’t the common stories where a young man claims to fall in love with an older woman just to steal her money and her kid’s inheritance. This is a delicately woven web that is not hidden in the shadows, but put out there for everyone to see because it is all over the Internet. The title lets you know what you’re in store for, but it can’t prepare you for the journey you’re about to take. You dive deep into a world of luxury, private jets, exotic locations and people that you find likable and are rooting for. By the end you wonder how any of this can happen and that the warning signs were right there, but were well shrouded by the a brilliant ruse centered around a dating app.

There is a reason this is currently the most watched documentary on Netflix. Over 166 million hours of streaming has been attributed to this movie and I think it comes down to two things. First, there is just the entertainment value of it where you wonder how this can happen to people and how individuals get away with such actions. It really is unbelievable when you think about how this happened in real life and not just some writer’s inventiveness behind a computer writing a script. Second, I think it is becoming a great tool for anyone with their feet in the dating pool. Sure, it’s easy to judge the victims of Simon Leviev and thinking they were shallow, but the thing is that they met someone who had a persona bigger than what a normal scam artist could conjure in their wildest dreams. He was nice and charming and everywhere you looked him up on the Internet supported his lifestyle and story. It shows that anyone can still be too good to be true even if you have vetted them in every way possible. The documentary is most likely being discussed with parents and kids and friends to show the dangers of not only Internet dating, but also the warning signs in any relationship that should be red flags. The film really delves into how twisted this story gets, and how the women involved are not just victims but also heroes. It makes you care for the victims, but also not just pity them because they’re fighting to come out the other side. One thing I usually don’t like about documentaries is that they try too hard to be smarter than their viewer and overuse cliched phrases and camera angles. With “The Tinder Swindler” it is shot almost as a training video with a story line that gets you hooked and then really thinking about and talking about how devious Simon is. I highly recommend watching this not just for the entertainment value and the discussions it will generate, but also as a way to make you think more about your decisions with people you trust. The story tells you that even though you didn’t judge the book by it’s cover you can still get most of the way through it and find out that it’s a terrible book. It’s a book that needs to be disposed of, and that you can write a new story after finding out the last one was stealing your time and maybe even your money.

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