The vast majority of people who will read this article have already seen the Netflix documentary “The Tinder Swindler.” If you have not seen it, I recommend checking it out. The subject matter is depressing but makes for good television.
The Tinder Swindler is a documentary that tells the story of three women who were financially swindled by a con artist named Simon Leviev.
After seeing the documentary twice, I am still greatly surprised by human behavior. How we let some people play with our minds, and how people manipulate others without any remorse.
Clinical psychologist Claudia Nicolas analyzed Simon Leviev’s behavior on her YouTube channel and described the scammer as “a man with traits of psychopathy.”
Let’s see some of these behaviors and other details observed in the documentary.
Why could Simon be considered a psychopath?
The Healthline website explains that, in psychiatry, the term psychopath is not considered an official diagnosis; rather, the correct term would be “Antisocial Personality Disorder.”
This should not be confused with antisocial people, who are simply reserved, lonely, and introverted.
A person with “Antisocial Personality Disorder” can be cordial, friendly, outgoing — anything necessary to get what he wants.
According to Dr. Masand, these are the symptoms of a person with Antisocial Personality Disorder:
- socially irresponsible behavior
- a tendency to ignore or violate the rights of others
- inability to distinguish between right and wrong
- difficulty showing remorse or empathy
- a tendency to lie frequently
- a tendency to manipulate or hurt others
- recurring problems with the law
- general disregard for safety and responsibility.
Simon meets practically all the characteristics mentioned above.
Let’s take a closer look at these characteristics associated with the documentary.
#1. Simon knows how to identify the type of woman he can cheat on
Simon is definitely an intelligent man.
He knows the profile of his next prey: a friendly woman who likes travel, good restaurants, and good company. It’s easy to find this type of person on Tinder. Simon found a way to make himself attractive to them.
#2. He knows very well how to handle first impressions.
People say, “YOU NEVER GET A SECOND CHANCE,” and Simon proved this. He knew that he had to create a personality tailored to catch his victims.
He spared no expense to make this first impression something his new prey could appreciate.
Not only did he show off his good looks, elegance, money, and power, but he also showed himself to be a sensitive man looking for love beyond the superficial. In this way, he managed to connect with his victims quickly.
#3. He does not feel empathy or guilt for what he does
The Tinder Swindler maintains relationships and friendships with several women simultaneously.
Although he appears to be a caring person, he simply follows a script. He studies his victims closely, but he has no empathy for them.
#4. He is a king of manipulation
Initially, he shows his victims that he is an influential person, but at the same time, he seeks more than just sex. He “connects sentimentally with them,” which makes them trust him one hundred percent.
He knows how to identify the other person’s weaknesses and use them in his favor, making him an expert in manipulation.
#5. His victims only see what they want to see
As the story progresses, Simon shows some inconsistencies in his actions, but his victims do not realize or do not want to realize.
They prefer to cling to the desired reality instead of questioning his steps a little.
When they finally find out, they are already totally in debt and feeling guilty for being “foolish” enough to have fallen into an emotional and financial pit for their charming prince.
These women aren’t unique. We all cling, to some extent, to our illusions. It’s easier to ignore the reality we have right in front of us.
What can we learn from all this?
- We are capable of incredible things if we really want something or are in a desperate situation.
The psychopath, having no empathy towards others, finds it easier to abuse the trust of any individual to achieve his goals.
But in the same way, his victims could get large loans, which they may never have acquired if they did not feel forced to do so. That pressure was self-imposed (since he did not actually force them).
- Some people never redeem themselves.
While watching the documentary, I wondered why a person with intelligence doesn’t stop doing bad things when achieving his goals. This is because I kept trying to see the situation from a different perspective than the psychopaths.
Psychopaths enjoy success power, taking significant risks. Simon was okay with getting thousands of dollars for doing nothing and spending them all in one night.
They can always do it again (that’s their mentality.
- People continue to hold women accountable instead of seeing them as victims.
Simon impressed his victims on the first date, suggesting that these women were looking for luxury and comfort.
But Simon gave them not only that, but he also offered them to live their own love story: a rich man, intelligent, who treats them as they deserve.
His victims fell for that deception doesn’t mean they are guilty or responsible for what happened.
A woman, or a man, has every right to want a financially stable partner or one with sufficient economic power. That doesn’t make them bad people.
- Justice is not always served.
So far, Simon is still on the loose, running shady deals, getting paid for interviews. He’s planning to start a career in show-business.
His victims had to pay their debts. Like I said before, he did not force them to take loans or give him their credit cards; instead, his crime could only be considered a breach of trust, although we all know it was a scam.
Although the law could not help the victims of the documentary, their story leaves us with some valuable lessons. We can learn to be cautious, not to allow ourselves to be surrounded by people who appear to have it all.
Learn that our generation lives two lives, the real and the digital.
You need to be very careful when combining your real-life interactions with virtual ones. People online may not have been honest with what they want to give you. Or you may have deceived them, intentionally or not.
It can be something as simple as a filtered photo or something serious like a fake identity. Either way, it may end in disappointment and heartache.
Social Media is about Sociology and Psychology more than Technology.” — Brian Solis