In 2019, Norwegian newspaper VG published an article titled “The Tinder Swindler,” which sent shockwaves through the general public on par with The Atlantic’s “The Truth About Dentistry,” or the New York Times’ “Who is the Bad Art Friend?” The article follows a man named Shimon Hayut who spent years of his life posing as Simon Leviev, the heir to a behemoth Israeli diamond fortune. He adopted this persona to court women on Tinder and, once he has earned their trust, to trick them into loaning him hundreds of thousands of dollars—money he would then use to woo his next victim. As is the case with most popular IP, “The Tinder Swindler” was picked up for adaptation at lightning speed, and developed into a documentary by the masterminds behind Netflix’s Don’t Fuck with Cats, the deep-dive miniseries into the stranger-than-fiction story of the rise-and-fall of a porn-star-turned-cat-torturer-and-maybe-cannibal. Directed by Felicity Morris, The Tinder Swindler is not dissimilar to Don’t Fuck with Cats in that it is delightfully high-concept, bringing with it a similar frenetic energy and playful teasing out of twists.
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