A young Israeli woman came forward in a TV interview Friday as the latest victim of Israeli scammer Shimon Hayot, known as the “Tinder scammer”, despite her Popular true crime documentary on Netflix This year the namesake documented allegations of his systematic deception of romantic partners.
Irene Tranov, 25, from the southern city of Ofakim, told Channel 13 news that she had seen the documentary, but when Hayut reached out to her, he convinced her that the allegations against him were false.
“He went with me to every woman who complained about him, every single one he told me what lies they were and he was right,” she told the network. “He doesn’t look like a criminal looking for a tag.”
Tranov said she told Hayut she wanted to trade her car. “He said, ‘I’ll help you,’ we’ll order it and I’ll get you a car at a better price because I’m your friend,” she told the network.
According to Channel 13, Hayut told Tranov that he was a partner in a car import company and would get a brand new luxury BMW for less than what could be found on the market.
But Hayut demanded that Tranov transfer the money to him, and instructed her how to obtain loan after loan from various companies, similar to the tactics detailed in the documentary.
Tarnov said she transferred NIS 450,000 ($130,000) to Hayut over the course of several days, and in the meantime he handed her another car, saying he would work to get the car she wanted.
Channel 13 said that it was found that the car was seized and listed under the name of another person. “The car is not in my name, and I have no money,” Tarnov said.
Tranov said she asked Hayut for money, but he stopped. In the end, he gave her a check for NIS 450,000, but it bounced back after a few days. The check was signed by another woman, allegedly another victim of Hayut’s.
Merry Friedman, the attorney representing the second victim, said the accounts “identical”.
“he met [the second woman] on social media. After six months of dating, he asked her for a check for deposit. He told her “it won’t be cashed out and don’t worry”. She gave him the check, and he deposited it [Tranov’s] Friedman said.
“I thought the problem was that the car didn’t have my name on it,” Tranov said. “When I saw the check bounce, I knew I was in much bigger trouble.”
She said Hayut began threatening her over the car she was still holding. During a hearing in another case against him, Hayott claimed that Tranov had stolen the car.
“He knew he was ruining my life,” she said.
Hayut, now known as the son of Chief Rabbi Yohanan Hayut, president of El Al Airlines, was at the center of a nearly two-hour documentary directed by Felicity Morris that tells the story of several women whose hearts and wallets he captured. The fraudster introduced himself as Simon Leviev, the son of Israeli-Russian diamond tycoon Lev Leviev.
Hayot would meet Scandinavian women on Tinder, lead them to believe he was the son of the fabulously wealthy Lévèv and begin long-distance relationships with them, eventually spending large sums of money from them.
The events of the film ends before Hayut was sentenced and tried, as he was returned to Israel in 2017 to be recharged and sentenced, but he assumed a different identity and fled the country.
Declared a fugitive by Israel, he was eventually extradited in 2019, found guilty, and sentenced to 15 months in prison. He was released after five months. He had previously spent two and a half years in a Finnish prison after being convicted 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 the police.