State News

The Michigan Tinder Swindler?

By: Elena Hayes

Have you watched Netflix smash hit “The Tinder Swindler”? After finding its way on Netflix’s top 10 most watched list, the story has captivated the world due to its unsettling yet entertaining task of hunting down a man who stole millions of dollars from women.

For those that haven't watched, Simon Leviev, whose real name is Simon Hayut, developed a very calculated and deceitful plan that gained the trust of females on the dating app called Tinder. In the Netflix documentary, he was able to trick women into believing he was the heir of a diamond billionaire named Lev Leviev. His dating apps and social media accounts were filled with pictures of his extravagant lifestyle, photoshopped family outings, and his endless wardrobe of high-end luxury designer clothing. However, truth be told, his only source of income was from previous victims he had scammed.

Tinder is the most popular dating app across the world with more than 6.5 million downloads per month worldwide. It’s arguably the best way to find a date, or even love, in the 21st century. However, with its popularity and growth, it also comes with risks. All the more Tinder and its users must stay vigilant to protect the integrity of the app and themselves, by adhering to the dating safety guidelines listed at the end of this article.

Stories like “The Tinder Swindler” are popping up all over the country, including the state of Michigan.

In Detroit, a 27 year old named Marcus Edwards was arrested on suspicion of using Tinder and other dating sites to rob women at gunpoint, stealing personal items such as rings and jewelry. Although his scheme is not quite as elaborate, it’s just as dangerous and certainly more violent.

A woman on January 8th, 2022 went to the police and filed a report that she was robbed at gunpoint and sexually assaulted by a man she met on a dating app. The police were notified of a second crime on February 7th, with a similar story and fitting description. According to police officers he “lured them in with confidence to take them on a date only to take advantage of them.”

The police immediately launched an investigation and successfully arrested and charged Edwards in connection to the crimes. How Edwards became a suspect is unknown, but detectives are confident in their arrest and are motivated to keep the community safe.

However, they are unaware of how many times this could have happened, and are encouraging others to come forward if they have fallen victim to this dangerous scam.

Online Safety

Never Send Money or Share Financial Information

Protect Your Personal Information

Stay on the Platform

Be Wary of Long Distance and Overseas Relationships

Report All Suspicious and Offensive Behavior

Protect Your Account

Meeting in Person

Don’t Be In A Rush

Meet in Public and Stay in Public

Tell Friends and Family About Your Plans

Be in Control of Your Transportation

Know Your Limits

Don’t Leave Drinks or Personal Items Unattended

If You Feel Uncomfortable, Leave

Safety for LGBTQ+ Travel