Can we trust dating apps?


Claire Arneson, General Reporter

Netflix has been my best friend since I stole my aunt’s account in eighth grade. With 2022 kicking off, Netflix has released lots of new content for viewers. From Tall Girl 2, and the second season of Love is Blind, Netflix continues to create content that keeps us from doing our homework. A recent documentary, The Tinder Swindler, convinced me to delete my Tinder account. The documentary follows women on Tinder who were “swindled” by the same man – Simon Leviev. Leviev claimed to have descendent of Leviev diamonds, asked women on dates and swiftly took them from a restaurant to a private plane in which they’d travel to a luxurious destination. Cecille is the first woman we meet, claiming that shortly after the two were planning on purchasing an apartment together, Simon sent staged photos of his bodyguard who had been attacked. Shortly after, Simon starts asking for money – not just $20 for gas – but thousands and thousands of dollars. 


As Leviev had been known to drop $1,000 on a bottle of wine, they don’t think it will be a problem to get their money back. After giving them all the money he asks for, he uses payment methods that won’t be accepted at the bank, such as fake checks. This leaves the women in debt and alone. Simon did something similar to Pernilla; she was more of a friend to Simon than a lover. However, their camaraderie did  not protect her from being swindled out of almost $45,000. We then discover he had another girlfriend when he and Cecille were together – Ayleen. Ayleen suspects she gave him more than $140,000.  


Despite losing an immense amount of money to Simon and receiving threats from him, Cecille – prior to meeting Pernilla and Ayleen –  went to a Norwegian newspaper called Verdens Gang and told the world. More women around the globe came forward and said he did the same thing to them. He would use a different name, change his passports and credit cards, and move to another place. After getting a taste of victory, the women he tricked wanted him arrested for his wrongdoings. Shortly after being exposed, he was arrested after he used a fake passport to board a flight. But where does that leave him now? Fine. He is currently dating a supermodel, drives expensive cars, and seems to be loving all the attention. He has an Instagram account to keep his followers updated. Meanwhile, the women he tricked are in debt and working to pay it off.  


People will argue that these women are idiots and did this to themselves. I say that Simon – or whatever his current name is – used them, and he is the one who should be in debt. Instead, he has taken over $10 million from women who were looking for love. The conman who changed his legal name so he could continue to trick women for money should be blamed, not the strong women who called him out. So if you’re looking for love, try Bumble instead.  


Claire Arneson is a Dakota General Reporter. She can be reached at [email protected].