A woman, Cecilie Fjellhoy, was scammed out of a whopping R2.8 million by an Israeli playboy calling himself the ‘Prince of Diamonds’ after matching with him on Tinder.
Fjellhoy, a 29-year-old woman from Lillestrom in Norway, had been swept off her feet by the ‘diamond dealer’, who organised a private plane to take them to Bulgaria from London on the first date.
The conman first asked Miss Fjellhoy, a graduate student, to take out a line of credit for him in her name just four weeks into their relationship, claiming that it was a security measure due to threats against him.
The man, Shimon Hayut, 28, is said to have conned multiple Scandinavian women with the same ‘confidence fraud’, claiming he was Simon Leviev, the son of Jewish billionaire diamond merchant, Lev Leviev.
‘Simon Leviev’ won the affection of Miss Fjellhoy before taking advantage of her financially.
Several reports confirmed that he had previously spent three years in Finnish prison for defrauding several women in the same way.
Miss Fjellhoy revealed how the betrayal led her to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital. She said:
“I hate him, he’s so horrible, I am just tired of crying about this you know?
“It’s just so painful. I just hate myself that I did this.''
The woman disclosed that she had to be put into a psychiatric ward because of suicidal thoughts
She filled out documents for an American Express platinum card per his instructions and he told her to file an income of R2.8 million. The conman assured her no one was going to check it.
Ms Fjellhoy said she took the handsome young Israeli by his word just four weeks into their relationship. She took out huge loans on the card and said the Tinder-swindler was soon maxing it out.
Hayut spent two million Norwegian krone in just 54 days and was racking up bills on paying for his two assistants, his bodyguard and flights across the world.
She told VG her money was being spent on Louboutins in Bangkok, on Gucci in Barcelona, at the Ritz Carlton in Berlin and the Conservatory in Amsterdam.
Hayut was using Ms Fjellhoy’s cash to capture other women in the process, she told the Norwegian paper. He used her funds to allegedly convince a Swedish woman called Pernilla Sjoholm that he was the son of a billionaire.
Ms Fjellhoy recounted that in one weekend Hayut splurged on taking a new darling to the opera in a limousine. She described how the sums sicken her today, but at the time she was bowled over by his charms and believed Hayut was a CEO who would reimburse her.
She believed his affections for him were real, but while he texted her each morning asking "Good morning, dear, did you sleep well?" he was chatting with other women.
Miss Fjellhoy said the experience has changed her as a person, now struggling to trust people. She said:
"I see a difference in myself when I talk to people, [I am] much less naive."
The woman said the moment she finally realized Hayut had stolen her money was ‘such a shock’:
"I almost wanted to throw up, it was the first time in my life that I had gotten such a shock that my body physically was telling me that, ‘OK your life is ruined,’ everything came crashing down around me."
Hayut has been on the wanted list on charges of theft, forgery and fraud in Israel since 2011, the Times of Israel reported.
He has been reported for fraud in England, Norway and Sweden.
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