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Where Is Cecilie Fjellhoy, Who Was Conned By The 'Tinder Swindler,' Now?
A Tinder swipe gone very bad: Cecilie Fjellhoy was duped by Shimon Hayut, who pretended to be the heir to a diamond fortune and tricked her into giving him thousands of dollars.
Cecilie Fjellhoy was one of the many women victimized by conman Shimon Hayut and her heartbreaking account of being swindled is at the heart of Netflix's “The Tinder Swindler.”
“It’s not easy to find love online, so when Cecilie matches with a handsome billionaire playboy, she can’t quite believe it when he turns out to be the man of her dreams,” a synopsis for the series states. “But dreams aren't reality and by the time she discovers this international businessman isn’t who he says he is, it’s too late. He’s taken her for everything. Where this fairytale ends, a revenge thriller begins.”
Fjellhoy, a Finnish woman who was living in London when she swiped right on Hayet, explains in the documentary that she was intrigued right away. And who wouldn't be? After all, he posed as a billionaire diamond mogul named Simon Leviev. On their very first date, he even whisked her away on a private jet to Bulgaria. He claimed it was a business trip but all of it — all of it — was a scam.
As part of his swindle, he even went so far as to hire a team of fake assistants and business partners. It was this facade of a lavish lifestyle that allowed him to ensnare victims like Fjellhoy. He would convince them that he was their boyfriend before asking them to take out lines of credit for him, claiming he needed to hide under different names because he was being threatened. By the time Fjellhoy met him, he had previously served a two-year sentence in a Finnish prison for conning three women with the scheme in 2015.
In the end, Fjellhoy told ABC News, he tricked her out of $200,000. She even said she checked herself into a psychiatric ward due to the emotional stress of the fake relationship.
Hayut was ultimately arrested in 2019 during a joint operation between Interpol and Israeli Police. He was caught after he was found using a fake passport, according to a 2021 Variety reports. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison later that year and ordered to pay $43,289 in compensation.
Fjellhoy still lives in London and is moving on with her life.
“Finally it’s almost here, the release of the documentary that have taken hours and to have faith in people again,” she posted on Instagram on Monday. “I can confidently say I’m so honored and happy being part of this project!
She added, “Never give up, even though the fight might be hard! Goodness always wins.”
Her Instagram bio describes her as a “Lead UX & Service designer.” She has not immediately responded to Oxygen.com’s request for an interview.
She seems to be using her negative experience with Hayut for good. On her Linkedin, she describes herself as a “spokesperson and speaker on fraud” as well as the founder of a new non profit organization called action:reaction foundation.