the tinder swindler

The Tinder Swindler: Review, lessons and thoughts by Unwana Umana

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The Tinder Swindler is a Netflix documentary that flows like a well-scripted movie.

It’s the story of a man who swindles people online using basic pop psychology techniques. Forgive me for using the word basic and pop, but that’s what it is. But basic popular psychology doesn’t mean it doesn’t work on smart people. It does work on smart people too. Sometimes as humans we are reluctant to see the obvious in patterns because we have a standard wall that has been broken.

the tinder swindler

The Tinder Swindler is a painful realistic piece of programming.

It puts human behaviours on a blast.

It’s two hours of pure emotional hikes and vibrations. Below are a few thoughts regarding it.



  • They wished for a fairy tale relationship (who doesn’t? most of us want someone who understands our journey and does have similar life experiences, we have this bias that it will make things easier).
  • They wanted to network up or sideways and not down. (There’s nothing wrong here, no matter the direction of your networking, every choice you make is a gamble).
  • They were impressed by the things and lifestyles they never had. (Most humans are fascinated by the stars, and are always trying to touch the stars)
  • They had this misconception that spending money translated to being good. With this sort of thinking, when one meets a benevolent stranger, they quickly register this stranger as a good person. Inferring a person is good, encourages them to reciprocate kindness. Which is sad!
  • Fear of losing their reputation, being dragged by the public as being gullible. (scams come in different degrees and weights, and anyone can be a victim).



the tinder swindler

  • Understood the principles of networking up and down and sideways.
  • Understood the directions of wooing certain types of middle-class women who have access to credit.
  • Weaponized vulnerability and used the loophole empathetic people have… Always wanting to help.
  • Physically and emotionally abused victims
  • Created risks and dangerous patterns that enabled trauma bonding.
  • He built a persona of happiness and wealth. (And this goes with the expectant lifestyle paraded online).
  • He built a Ponzi scheme on the back of a benevolent reputation and the ideas of love.
  • Professional Emotional Con Artist, also tech savvy.



  • (Relationships) Being present doesn’t necessarily mean being committed. Being committed doesn’t necessarily mean being present.
  • Business motivational speakers have caused people to become obsessed with digital footprints.

Footprints have been used to determine if a person is suitable for diverse types of relationships. (Digital footprints can be hacked, and many business people use this to scam vulnerable people). This is one of the reasons why one of the most successful scams is perpetuated by people cultivating a cult following, and since they understand the principles of personal branding, they use it ruthlessly to sell products and services and ideas ripped from popular psychology.

  • Read On Trauma Bonding and learn how people can use this in relationships, including business relationships.
  • Fear is a tool. Abusive people make use of it to keep the abused in line.
  • It’s easy for wealthy people to ask for financial favours from institutions and people. Humans want to help thriving people more than the needy. People will contribute more to the success of wealthy strangers but won’t do the same for those around them.
  • Money attracts money, and this can lead to the vicious cycle of deceit.



In many countries, debt is not a crime. And in most countries, obtaining money by deceit is fraud.

The scammer used deceit to access money from his victims as loans. And this made it harder for a case to be brought against him.



  • White-collar criminals get away with crimes because the system is rigged for them.
  • Police have to be more empathetic towards victims of emotional scams.
  • Emotional scams are technical and can be confusing due to ambiguous rules regarding the conduct of relationships.



They need a new feature that allows people to mutually confirm that they are dating. If this feature existed, the scammer would have used other names and probably other pictures. But it would have reduced the number of victims.

The victims refused to blame Tinder, they believe the issue isn’t Tinder but the people using Tinder. This makes sense to me, humans always find ways of ruining things.

Rating: 8.5/10

Not Shocking! Simply reassuring of what the world is and will continue to be.

Watch the Trailer on Youtube:

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2 thoughts on “The Tinder Swindler: Review, lessons and thoughts by Unwana Umana

  1. Boss, I love this piece. It’s revealing, complex, true. I love the fact that you weren’t too careful with exploring this issue cause it’s not an issue of “how we would rather hear it”. I admire that fact that you cared enough to use phycological backings to your claims. Respects!

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