Six methods Irish individuals can keep away from romance scams just like the Tinder Swindler

YOU might imagine you can by no means be conned out of your cash by somebody just like the Tinder Swindler, however Gardaí are warning that it’s occurring in Eire increasingly. 

The Netflix documentary about ‘Simon Leviev’ has shocked individuals all over the world, as he satisfied his girlfriends to take out large loans and provides him the cash as his ‘enemies had been after him.’

Shimon Yehuda Hayut, aka Simon Leviev, the name he used to swindle women he met


Shimon Yehuda Hayut, aka Simon Leviev, the identify he used to swindle ladies he metCredit score: Tinder Swindler
Fraudsters are targeting lonely people on dating apps such as Tinder


Fraudsters are focusing on lonely individuals on relationship apps similar to TinderCredit score: Alamy

One girlfriend had 9 loans totalling round €250,000 in only a matter of months, whereas she believed if she didn’t pay, he can be killed. 

However in reality, he was a fraudster named Shimon Hayut and after a brief stint in jail, he’s again out on the streets and supposedly relationship a mannequin.  

Whereas the Israeli scammed ladies throughout the globe, Detective Superintendent Michael Cryan mentioned there are instances of fraud a lot nearer to dwelling.

“Properly from what I do know, the Tinder Swindler is totally different as they really met up in actual life. In Eire, primarily the fraudster creates false Tinder profiles and finds their victims. They join them off web site on WhatsApp and may be speaking for months and months, considering they’re connecting, earlier than he begins asking for cash or provides them funding recommendation to place their cash into this crypto forex.” 

The pandemic has meant that single people who find themselves on the lookout for love have needed to depend on relationship apps and there was a pointy rise in fraud instances, each on relationship apps and on playing and retail websites within the final two years. 

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Some individuals who have been scammed embody:

  • A 41-year-old feminine was contacted by a male claiming to be a widely known musician, she grew to become romantically concerned on-line and was defrauded of over €26,000.
  • A 51-year-old feminine believed she was in a web based relationship with a male, she agreed to switch €90,000 to him within the perception that it was a mortgage for his enterprise. 
  • A 38-year-old male reported that he started participating on-line with a feminine. The feminine said she wanted cash to return dwelling from Mexico. The male despatched €3,800 to her through Bitcoin in a single transaction.

Michael mentioned: “Individuals are lonely, and on the lookout for firm. Round 70 per cent of people that come ahead are feminine, and final 12 months, we had  €1.5m reported stolen however that’s most definitely very underreported.

“Some individuals could also be married or in a relationship, some don’t need individuals to know they’ve been conned, or they’d the cash within the first place. And the normal profile would have been a feminine in her 60s however that’s dropping to mid-to-late 40s and we’re seeing extra males.

“They’re very totally different instances although. For the feminine victims, the rip-off takes place over an extended time frame. They slowly begin to ask for cash at varied levels. For male victims, it in a short time turns to blackmail. The connection turns sexual, it takes place on a webcam after which they’re blackmailed. 

“We had one younger man round 18, who despatched 500 quid they usually requested for extra, or they made threats about exhibiting his mom. He instructed her and her cousin was a guard, so it was reported they usually bought the cash again.

“And naturally there may be the tragic case of that younger man from Tyrone, Ronan Hughes, who was blackmailed over photographs and took his personal life.”


He added: “With ladies, it’s emotional, primarily romantic, guys increase belief and benefiting from people who find themselves lonely or remoted. It’s monetary grooming and it may be from investing in crypto forex or the normal, ‘I want you to purchase flights or pay my medical bills.’”

Michael instructed victims to not be embarrassed and mentioned one lady coming ahead helped save 9 different victims. 

“Now we have a sentencing up on March 21 within the Circuit Courtroom, three males conning a girl out of €280,000 funding. We thought these individuals had been often in a kippy flat in Africa, however they had been three Nigerians in a kippy flat in Navan.

“We might truly see the scripts they wrote off, and likewise we might see they’d 9 different ladies at totally different levels lined up. I spoke to these ladies they usually all mentioned they’d a sense one thing was mistaken. One lady mentioned her son had instructed her it was a rip-off however she didn’t wish to consider it.”

He added: “That was 9 that had been chatting with them, what number of extra had been there earlier than? We additionally discovered one 80-year-old man who had additionally been scammed by the identical gang.”


Michael gave some key indicators that individuals ought to be careful for. 

“They’ll declare to be nicely educated, that they’re a health care provider however if you look again on the language their spelling and grammar are very poor. They may even use the mistaken identify as a result of they’re speaking to 10 victims at one time.”

Within the case of individuals pretending to be celebrities, the Garda mentioned that these instances are typically over social media, with the individual reaching out to a fan over Fb or Instagram.

In all instances, he mentioned to be aware if somebody doesn’t wish to do a video name, as they’re simply achieved as of late. 

And if somebody is continually cancelling plans to satisfy up, that can be a purple flag. 

“The cash these individuals absorb romance frauds go in the direction of individuals smuggling, prostitution, terrorism and even wars. That is extremely worthwhile for them and it is occurring on a regular basis. 

“If you’re suspicious, present the messages to a pal after which come to us for assist.”



Among the key warning indicators:

  • Rapidly shifting off the relationship app to texting or WhatsApp.
  • Asking quite a lot of questions together with tackle and surname
  • Avoiding answering private questions on themselves however often claiming to be widowed or divorced with grownup or teenage kids. 
  • Poor spelling or grammar that signifies English will not be their first language
  • Asking for monetary assist or asking you to spend money on schemes or companies
  • Won’t ever meet in individual, making preparations however all the time cancelling.



Among the ‘what to do and what to not do’ are:

  • Use trusted relationship web sites
  • Don’t share private info that might be used to determine you
  • By no means ship or obtain cash
  • Assume twice about utilizing a webcam for dates
  • Belief your instincts
  • Contact the Garda Fraud group if in case you have despatched cash, have been blackmailed or despatched delicate info Six methods Irish individuals can keep away from romance scams just like the Tinder Swindler

Fry Electronics Team

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