Marane A. Plaza –

February 28, 2022 | 3:40pm

MANILA, Philippines — Another Netflix con series that’s been most watched these days is “Tinder Swindler.” 

“Tinder Swindler” follows the real life story of Israeli con man Simon Leviev and his many female victims across the world who fell prey under his charm and literally paid a lot after they matched on Tinder. 

Simon was convicted of theft, forgery and fraud over an estimated $10 million from victims across Europe, allegedly between 2017 and 2019, according to The Times of Israel.

One of his victims is Swedish woman Pernilla Sjöholm.

Sjöholm is a former sales employee who met Leviev,  who by then changed his name from birth name Shimon Hayut. Simon told Sjöholm he’s the son of a wealthy diamond merchant, after they matched on Tinder in Stockholm in 2018. They developed a platonic relationship that spanned months, before Leviev contacted Sjöholm with tales of being in danger from “enemies” and desperately needing cash.

Months later, Sjöholm came to find out that Leviev had conned her and other women, like Cecilie Fjellhøy and Ayleen Charlotte, out of thousands of dollars he used to fund an extravagant lifestyle. Most of Simon’s female victims are still currently paying debts after they lent thousands of dollars to the swindler.

Pernilla has one message for the audience: It could happen to you, too.

“It could happen to anyone who has empathy,” Sjöholm exclusively told Page Six of being conned by Leviev.

“Those are the ones that grifters target. Someone, for example, who doesn’t have empathy, he has a disorder. He doesn’t feel empathy. So for a person like me and Cecilie Fjellhøy, we have a lot of empathy for other people. We are very easy targets.”

“My first thought would be like, ‘Oh my God, if you’re that stupid, just blame yourself.’ And I’m really embarrassed to say this. But this is how I used to be thinking before, and I’m now realizing that it really can happen to anyone,” she added.

“I’m not as bad as I was in 2019, and now I can feel like I have a little bit of trust in people,” she revealed. “But still, if someone does something really nice to me, it can still pop up in the back of my head. Like, is this an evil agenda? And I don’t want to be like that. But I always say I have good times and bad times in my life, and now they’re more good than bad, but I’m still traumatized from everything that happened.”

One good thing to come from the ordeal: her close friendship with another victim, Fjellhøy.

“She’s like my best friend and my soulmate. We sometimes say that we sit on so many nights and just think, ‘What if this had never happened to us? We would never have met.’ I mean, like, what would we change? Not that I want this to happen to anyone, but I mean, otherwise I wouldn’t have met my best friend. So sometimes I want to think, all the bad things that happen in your life, they happen for a reason.”

Sjöholm, Fjellhøy and Charlotte have set up a GoFundMe page to help pay their crippling debts, after numerous offers of help from viewers. 

Leviev eventually was arrested in 2019 after using a forged passport and sentenced to 15 months in jail in Israel for previous fraud charges. He was released after serving five months. Recently, he has been in the news again for signing with a Hollywood agent, which of course has upset his many female victims.

RELATED: WATCH: ‘Inventing Anna’ exposes real-life fake heiress Anna Delvey

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