Tinder says it will add criminal background checks to its platform

Tinder announces it will add criminal background checks to its platform and continues to add safety features following Netflix’s ‘Tinder Swindler’ documentary that exposed Simon Leviev ‘who conned $430,000’

  • Tinder will add criminal background checks following Netflix’s ‘Tinder Swindler’ documentary on Simon Leviev, accused of conning $430,000 on the app
  • Leviev, whose real name is Shimon Heyada Hayut, 31, allegedly used the dating app to pretend to be the son of a billionaire to scam women 
  • Tinder’s new service would allow users to conduct checks on their dates for violent crimes and if they’re on the sex offender registry
  • Searches exclude homicides or robberies committed more than 14 years ago
  • They also exclude financial crimes committed more than seven years ago 

Tinder said it would introduce new tools to let users run background checks on prospective dates as the company continues to address safety concerns following a Netflix documentary on an alleged conman accused of scamming more than $430,000 from women using the app.

Match Group, Tinder’s parent company, said the new safety center feature would surface arrests and convictions for certain violent crimes and sex offender registry status. 

‘This is the first that’s been done in this industry,’ Tracey Breeden, head of safety and social advocacy at Match Group, told the Wall Street Journal.

According to Garbo Technology Corp., a nonprofit background check organization working with Match Group, the Tinder results would exclude arrests and convictions for financial crimes that are more than seven years old, the WSJ reported. 

It also excludes homicides or robberies committed more than 14 years ago, as well as arrests and convictions for marijuana possession, vandalism and loitering laws. 

Garbo told WSJ that the time limits were developed by criminal justice advocates to give people who committed those crimes ‘a chance to change their behavior.’  

The move comes as the company has come under fire over sexual assault and other crimes following dates who connected on the app – including the now-infamous series of cons allegedly performed by Shimon Heyada Hayut, 31, who used the name Simon Leviev on the app.

Hayut’s alleged crimes were revealed in Netflix’s ‘Tinder Swindler’ documentary released in February.  

Match Group, Tinder’s parent company, said the new safety center feature would surface arrests and convictions for certain violent crimes and sex offender registry status.

The new features come in the wake of the Netflix film, ‘The Tinder Swindler,’ which documents the alleged scams performed by Shimon Heyada Hayut (above), who used the name Simon Leviev on Tinder and scammed more than $430,000 from women on the app 

The bombshell documentary feature three women – Cecilie Fjellhøy, Pernilla Sjöholm and Ayleen Charlotte – who claimed Hayut convinced them to hand over hundreds of thousands of dollars by pretending to be the son of a billionaire

Hayut was often pictured enjoying a lavish lifestyle in order to fool his alleged victims 

Hayut allegedly lured his victims – Cecilie Fjellhøy, Pernilla Sjöholm and Ayleen Charlotte – with private jets, yachts and fancy cars, telling them he was the son of a billionaire mogul.

He then proceeded to tell them his accounts had been frozen by his ‘enemies,’ and convinced them to send him money that he promised to pay back. He is accused of conning them out of more than $430,000.

However, the twice-convicted fraudster denies any wrongdoing.

‘They weren’t conned and they weren’t threatened,’ Hayut told Inside Edition last month. ‘No, I am not, and I never presented myself the son of a billionaire diamond mogul.’ 

His tale of lies began in Israel as early as 2011, when he was wanted on charges of theft, forgery and fraud, including for defrauding a family while serving as their babysitter, the Times of Israel reported.

He fled Israel before he could be sentenced and settled in Finland, where in 2015, authorities charged him with defrauding three women and sentenced him to two years in prison. 

In 2017, he returned to Israel to face the outstanding charges – but fled again. The Netflix documentary mostly covers his dealings with women after this point.

Leviev was eventually arrested – after he was caught with a fake passport – and was convicted in December 2019 and ordered to pay his Israeli victims $43,289, as well as a fine of $5,771 under the terms of a plea deal.

He was released the following May, after serving five months of his 15-month sentence.

Despite Hayut’s infamy, some of his alleged crimes would not necessarily be flagged by the new safety features. 

Hayut is currently dating Ukraine-born Israeli model Kate Konlin, 24, (right)

Hayut has denied all allegations against him made in the Netflix documentary

Garbo CEO Kathryn Kosmides said: ‘Background checks are not a silver bullet and are not a one-stop-shop for being safe’

Garbo CEO Kathryn Kosmides told the WSJ that Tinder users won’t receive any identifying personal information on their potential dates to avoid stalking and harassment. 

She added that: ‘Background checks are not a silver bullet and are not a one-stop-shop for being safe.’ 

Naomi Sugie, associate professor of criminology, law and society at the University of California, said the changes being made to Tinder might not be enough to restore confidence in the app or help assure people they’re safe when meeting up for dates. 

She told the WJS that the type of background checks performed through Garbo are often inaccurate and that crimes vary from state to state. 

In 2020, Tinder introduced a new safety feature to track the location of its users and notify police when alerted by users who believe they are in danger. 

Last year, the company also created tools to help users block out exes, as well as hateful and racist messages.  

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