History is full of great imposters, each more gifted (and fascinating) than the next. Vile characters ready for all lies to seduce and achieve their ends (earning money, most of the time). So imagine if these outrageous liars had had, in their time, access to the internet and dating sites. They could have, with even more ease, tricked people looking for love and mounted big scams well hidden behind a screen. Well that’s what happens every day in the world. New imposters have taken Tinder and other dating apps by storm, and they’re pretty good too. Very bastards, but very talented.
1. Shimon Hayut / Simon Leviev
The Machiavellian character, star of the Netflix doc The Tinder Scammer, posed as the son of billionaire Israeli diamond dealer Lev Leviev. Under this false identity, he managed to seduce a lot of women and siphon off all their savings. His little game was – it must be admitted – well established: at first, he took them to the hotel and on trips based on private jet trips and made them dangle a dream life. Once his prey had been conquered, he made believe that he was in danger and asked them for financial aid which he would, “of course”, reimburse. The tens of thousands of dollars stolen from a victim were used to fund his travels with the next prey, and so on. A Ponzi scheme always effective, even if very risky in the long term. Simon Leviev ended up getting caught but only spent a few months in prison in Israel. Once released, he immediately resumed his disgusting activities, and it was only since the broadcast of the documentary that Tinder announced that it was doing everything to block the accounts of the impostor. It was time. Now that his face is well known to everyone, he will have a little more trouble continuing his scam. If you haven’t watched him yet, go see the documentary, you’ll see how much garbage the guy is.
2. Rodrigo Nogueira, the Don Juan with 65 victims
We start with another master of imposture who does not have to blush in front of Simon Leviev: Rodrigo Nogueira. The Spaniard multiplied false identities to seduce women on dating sites for almost 20 years, from 1997 to 2017. He targeted women he deemed emotionally fragile, seduced them, then lived off them and borrowed from them money before disappearing into thin air. He was a tattoo artist, then a businessman, hacker, designer or chef, but each time his job involved the fact that he travels a lot, just to be able to have several relationships at the same time. Thanks to that, he could always land on his feet and trap victims in the four corners of Spain. But like everyone else, Rodrigo had a face, and it began to circulate everywhere in the media following testimonies from victims. It ended up allowing the police to nab him in 2017 and the justice system to sentence him to 2 and a half years in prison. Totally deserved.
3. Toby the cryptocurrency investor
In 2020, a young Montrealer who had recently become single signed up for Tinder. There he met a guy named Toby with whom he discussed dogs, but also investing. Toby explained to him that he was making money with bitcoins and offered to show the Montrealer how to do the same. The other was hot, he had always wanted to learn how to invest. Toby made him download a Chinese app that wasn’t on the Appstore and made him make an initial investment of $500. It went well since the guy ended up with $800 and managed to withdraw his money. Gaining confidence, the Montrealer invested $30,000 (not overnight, but he got trained step by step), then $10,000 more. After that, his account was frozen by the fake app and “Toby” – who was therefore an impostor – disappeared. In a few days, the Montrealer had lost all his savings. The cops told him they couldn’t do anything since all the transactions were done in bitcoins. Morality: even if the person you meet on Tinder seems like a nice guy who likes dogs, don’t listen to him if he talks to you about bitcoins. Besides, don’t listen to people who talk about bitcoins, they are generally boring.
4. Chileans and the fake minor photos scam
Here, the meeting happened via Facebook, but it could just as well have happened from a Tinder-type dating app. A 27-year-old Chilean man met a woman online, and the two quickly fell apart on WhatsApp. There, after a few conversations that will be described as “caliente”, the woman sent him photos of her naked. Until then, the guy seemed safe from any problem since he himself hadn’t sent anything back. But shortly after, he received a call from a guy who introduced himself as a police officer. He told her that the photos he had received had been sent by a minor under the age of 14, and that if he wanted to avoid a complaint from the girl’s father, he had to put 500,000 pesos in an account. . The victim of the scam complied, and when he called the (real) police to find out about the case, he was told that he had been cheated in style. But, for once, we managed to find the culprits: it was an inmate of the prison of Valparaíso and his cousin on the loose. No young women here, let alone minors. Just two big bastards.
5. Albert Cavallé, the “King of Tinder”
Twenty complaints have been filed against Albert Cavallé, a Spaniard who seduced and robbed lots of young women. Thanks to a pretty face and a not disgusting Tinder profile, the guy managed to seduce his victims from whom he borrowed money or stole property before disappearing. By dint of repeating his little game, he ended up earning the nickname “King of Tinder”, but also being tried in 2018 and 2021. He must do at least 3 years in prison and reimburse 70,000€, but he totally has the profile of the guy ready to start over when he gets out of prison. Watch this interview with him on Spanish TV: it’s surreal, the guy really doesn’t give a fuck. It’s even a little scary.
6. Jack Sion the fake playboy
Be careful, this story is about rape, so you can skip ahead if you want. This story is that of Jack Sion, a sexagenarian from Hérault who used the photos of a model in his thirties to create a fake profile. Thanks to this false identity, he attracted women to his house to whom he offered sexual relations in the dark or blindfolded. Obviously, several of them ended up realizing that the body of Jack Sion had nothing to do with that of a model and fled. They wanted to file a complaint, but at first the police did not take their statements, considering that they had gone to his house of their own free will. Horrible. Finally, thanks to a lawyer, one of them was able to file a complaint, but Jack Sion had initially only been sentenced to judicial review. His lawyer, Laurent Poumarède, had defended him by saying that the women had not been raped because they had not been forced, and that they could have suspected that the photos of the model were too good to be true. He even added: “I wonder if these women did not knowingly agree to hide their face, both literally and figuratively. » Again: horrible, especially from someone who is supposed to know the law.
Fortunately, Jack Sion finally passed before the Assizes and took 8 years in prison. Because yes, surprise rape is rape.
7. Kevin Marimoutou and his 10 years of scam
In the space of 10 years Kevin Marimoutou has claimed more than 80 victims throughout France thanks to Tinder and Badoo, another dating app. He seduced his victims thanks to his advantageous physique, but always with a first name and a different profession. Alternately professional football player, shisha bar owner or PMU bar owner (yes, really), he promised his conquests a good life and ended up most of the time by borrowing money from them, pushing them to take consumer loans, when he was not simply stealing them. One of his victims left more than €20,000 there and attempted suicide when she realized she had been dealing with an impostor. But, as often in this kind of story, by dint of scamming women all over the country, the guy ended up getting caught. The police arrested him in 2020 during a traffic check and sent him to court, which sentenced him to 3 years in prison. And hop, one more in the shade.