Tinder Swindler victims set up GoFundMe page to help retrieve the money they were conned out of

Cecilie Fjellhøy, Pernilla Sjoholm and Ayleen Charlotte got their revenge through the doc but are still in debt

By Joy Saha

Staff Writer

Published February 9, 2022 6:17PM (EST)

Cecilie Fjellhøy, Ayleen Charlotte and Pernilla Sjöholm in "The Tinder Swindler"
Cecilie Fjellhøy, Ayleen Charlotte and Pernilla Sjöholm in "The Tinder Swindler" (Netflix)

The women on Netflix's documentary "The Tinder Swindler" may have successfully sought revenge after publicly outing infamous love scammer Shimon Hayut. But their efforts to retrieve the large sums of money they were all scammed out of is still ongoing.  

Earlier this week, Cecilie Fjellhøy, Pernilla Sjoholm and Ayleen Charlotte collectively launched a GoFundMe page to help them clear their debts. The three victims all met Hayut on the dating app Tinder, where he posed as "Simon Leviev" — the swanky son of Israeli diamond tycoon Lev Leviev — and meticulously conned them out of millions of dollars. In 2019, Leviev was extradited to Israel and served just five months of a 15-month sentence.  

"The past few days have been a whirlwind, and we three (Ayleen, Pernilla and Cecilie) have been completely shocked and floored by the flood of compassion and support from everyone," the women wrote on their page. "The sheer love is more than we ever expected, and we appreciate you all so much."

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"After careful consideration, and many chats, we have decided to start this GoFundMe fundraiser," they continued. "So many people reached out to us asking if we had one, and it hadn't occurred to us to make one prior to this. However, we've spotted plenty of fakes, which makes us uneasy. We don't want more people getting defrauded."

The trio set a crowdfunding goal of £600,000 (approximately $812,000). As of Wednesday, they've acquired 2,600 donations worth a total of £54,198 ($73,419.32).  

"We realise there are a thousand other worthy causes to donate to, and remain forever grateful if you choose to donate to this one," they added. "All we want are our lives back."

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According to a NBC report, Hayut has been banned from Tinder, Hinge and other dating platforms under Match Group Inc., including Match.com, Plenty of Fish and OkCupid.

"We banned Simon Leviev and any of his known aliases as soon as the story of his actions became public in 2019," a Tinder spokesperson told NBC shortly after the premiere of "The Tinder Swindler." "In the lead up to the release of the documentary, we conducted additional internal investigations and can confirm Simon Leviev is not active on Tinder under any of his known aliases."

Per NME, Hayut recently took to Instagram to share a few thoughts on the documentary before deleting his account:

"I will share my side of the story in the next few days when I have sorted out the best and most respectful way to tell it, both to the involved parties and myself. Until then, please keep an open mind and heart."

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By Joy Saha

Joy Saha is a staff writer at Salon. She writes about food news and trends and their intersection with culture. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.


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