Israeli woman says ‘Tinder Swindler’ cheated on her, even after watching a documentary

A young Israeli woman came forward in a television interview Friday as the latest victim of Israeli fraudster Shimon Hayut, known as “The Tinder Scammer,” despite a popular Netflix true-crime documentary this year of the same name documenting the its supposed systematic. let down romantic partners.

Iren Tranov, 25, from the southern city of Ofakim, told Channel 13 news that she had seen the documentary, but when Hayut contacted her, he convinced her that the claims against him were lies.

“He approached all the women who had complained about him, and each one told me how they were lies and he was right,” she told the network. “He doesn’t look like a criminal looking for a brand.”

Tranov said he told Hayut he wanted to replace his car. “He said, ‘I’ll help you, we’ll order it and I’ll give you a car at a better price because I’m your boyfriend,'” she told the network.

According to Channel 13, Hayut told Tranov that he was a partner in a vehicle import company and would get him a new BMW luxury car at a lower price than what could be found on the market.

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However, Hayut demanded that Tranov transfer the money to him and instructed him on how to take out loan after loan from various companies, similar to the tactics detailed in the documentary.

Iren Tranov speaks on Channel 13 News, November 18, 2022. (Screenshot: Channel 13; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Act)

Tranov said she transferred a sum of about NIS 450,000 ($130,000) to Hayut over several days, and he gave her a different vehicle, saying he would work to get what she wanted.

The vehicle turned out to be impounded and listed under someone else’s name, Channel 13 said. “The vehicle is not in my name and I don’t have the money,” Tranov said.

Tranov said he asked Hayut for the money back, but he balked. He eventually gave her a check for NIS 450,000, but bounced just a few days later. The check was signed by another woman, allegedly another victim of Hayut.

Miri Friedman, a lawyer representing the second victim, said the stories were “identical.”

“He met [the second woman] in social networks. After six months of dating, he asked her for a check as a deposit. He told her, “You won’t be charged, don’t worry.” She gave him the check and he deposited it [Tranov’s] mind,” Friedman said.

“I thought the problem was that the car wasn’t under my name,” Tranov said. “When I saw the check bounce I realized I had much bigger problems.”

She said Hayut began threatening her about the car she was still driving. During a court hearing on another case against him, Hayut claimed that Tranov had stolen the vehicle.

“I knew I was ruining my life,” she said.

Shimon Hayut, the so-called ‘Tinder Scammer’, is kicked out of the city of Athens, Greece on July 1, 2019. (Tore KRISTIANSEN/multiple sources/AFP)

Hayut, now known for being the son of El Al airline chief rabbi Yohanan Hayut, was at the center of a nearly two-hour documentary directed by Felicity Morris that told the story of several women whose heart and wallet The scammer introduced himself as Simon Leviev, son of Russian Israeli diamond magnate Lev Leviev.

Hayut would meet Scandinavian women on Tinder, trick them into believing he was the son of the fabulous Leviev, and start long-distance relationships with them, eventually swindling them out of large sums of money.

The events of the film end before Hayut’s sentencing and trial, as he was returned to Israel in 2017 to be re-charged and convicted, but assumed a different identity and fled the country.

Israel declared him a fugitive and he was eventually extradited in 2019, convicted and sentenced to 15 months in prison. He was released after five months. He had previously served two and a half years in a Finnish prison after being found guilty of defrauding three women.

In April, it was reported that Hayut was wanted in Spain for a 2019 incident in which he allegedly presented a fake Israeli driver’s license to police.

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