If you’ve missed Netflix’s latest binge-worthy documentary, “The Tinder Swindler,” that’s as shocking as it is bewildering, then you’re in for a treat.
The documentary details victim’s accounts of their experiences with The Tinder Swindler himself, Simon, and brings viewers along for a ride of fraud, online dating, love bombs, and lots of swindling, of course.
While watching and listening to his victim’s stories, I wouldn’t be surprised if most of us thought to ourselves, “Oh, I would never do that,” but can any of us really say that? Let’s put the victim-blaming aside and see what we can take away from this documentary because there’s a lot to learn here.
We’ve come up with seven lessons (or warnings) on money, online dating, and relationships that we can all learn from “The Tinder Swindler”:
1. Be wary of love-bombing.
Simon’s victims would go broke just to keep him safe because he effectively love-bombed them from the very beginning. This form of manipulation might seem harmless, but love-bombing or showering someone with excess affection to influence them can quickly become abusive, as we saw in the documentary.
Trust your instincts and be cautious of anyone who says they want to spend a life with you after just a few days.
2. Don’t give away money you can’t afford to lose.
It doesn’t matter how much you want to help someone. Your financial security is always the top priority, so please, do not put yourself in a hard situation to save someone else.
3. Keep your personal financial details to yourself when online dating.
No one you meet online needs to know how much you make or anything about your financial situation, especially upon first meeting. Social media and dating apps trick us into thinking we know people who are truly strangers, so do not give people your trust until they’ve earned it.
4. Don’t ever take out loans for someone else.
If you don’t have the money, you don’t have it. Taking loans out in your name for someone who’s virtually a stranger should be where you draw the line because who wants to go into debt in the name of love?
5. Take the advice of trusted friends and family.
What’s the harm in talking over potentially risky financial moves with your loved ones? An abuser may try to keep you isolated, but listening to the wisdom of your peers can prevent you from getting yourself into serious trouble.
6. Don’t be lured by “rich” personalities.
People who have wealth do not need to flaunt it. It’s a good rule of thumb to side-eye anyone, especially online, who has a flashy presence and always seems to be putting on a show.
7. Trust your instincts.
When it comes to you and your money, playing it safe is the way to go. Why bet on something when you feel that something may not be right?
The best way we can all keep ourselves (and money) safe from people like Simon is to trust our guts and move cautiously out here.