From TV to IRL: What ‘The Tinder Swindler’, ‘The Dropout’, and ‘Inventing Anna’ Can Teach Us About Real-Life Fraud


So far, 2022 has been the year of the scammer—for streaming services. From deception in romance to fake identities and hustling investors, three of the most high-profile cases of fraud have captured audiences for their shocking yet entertaining storylines, as depicted by The Tinder Swindler (a Netflix movie) The Dropout (Hulu series), and Inventing Anna (Netflix series). 

These bingeable programs depict a unique type of fraud—each of them masterminded and executed by a threat actor who exploits their victims for profit (and now, notoriety). 

Though their entertainment value is high, so too are the risks these smash hits depict: romance fraud, fraud against investors, synthetic identity fraud.

The Tinder Swindler: Romance and love fraud


Simon Leviev, a conman from Israel, aptly earned himself the nickname “Tinder Swindler” after using Tinder to find victims for his schemes. Pretending to be the wealthy son of a…

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