Shimon Hayut became an unexpected Netflix star for all the wrong reasons. Known as “The Tinder Swindler,” Hayut created a fantasy world where he posed as a wealthy heir to a diamond fortune. Shimon would then suddenly find himself in danger and fearing for his life. Women he met on Tinder would then be asked to send him large sums of money. It was a classic take on the Nigerian prince email schemes that have been around since the 1990s.
While it may seem unfathomable to fall for such a trick, several women did. Three of those victims have now set up a GoFundMe to try and recover the money they lost in the scheme. Cecilie Fjellhøy, Pernilla Sjoholm, and Ayleen Charlotte have already raised over $50,000.
A message on the GoFundMe spells out the group’s reason for seeking the funds. They are thankful for the outpouring of support from fans of the new Netflix documentary about them. They say they’re just trying to get their lives back.
“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 sheer love is more than we ever expected, and we appreciate you all so much.
After careful consideration, and many chats, we have decided to start this GoFundMe fundraiser. 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. We realise there are a thousand other worthy causes to donate to, and remain forever grateful if you choose to donate to this one. All we want are our lives back.”
Readers should be advised that enormously wealthy people who suddenly and inexplicably seek the help of common folk online are typically not real. The same scam has been rampant in the world of professional wrestling lately. Think twice before you send money to a stranger online.
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