Swede Pernilla Sjoholm, who transferred money to an ING bank account at the request of a fraudster whom she met on the dating platform Tinder, will not receive compensation from the bank. On Monday, the judge ruled that ING was not responsible because the bank had “made sufficient investigations”. Schoholm requested €32,000 in compensation from ING, because it felt the bank had failed to fulfill its duty of care.
In November 2018, Sjoholm transferred a total of about 32,000 euros to the ING bank account of a woman – it later turned out that she was picking up cats from her scammer. She demanded compensation in the same amount, because ING would have known a fraudster was involved when she was still ignorant of the matter herself. ING states that the account holder was only seen as a potential victim and not an accomplice of the scammer. The judge disagreed with Sjöholm and ruled that at the time Sjöholm made the payment, “ING did not know that the payment account (…) was being used for fraudulent purposes”.
The fraudster’s practices became known in the Netflix documentary Tinder scammer. It shows how the Israeli Shimon Hayut introduced himself to his dating partners as Simon Leviev, the son of a very wealthy diamond dealer. In the series, three women – in addition to Shjoholm also the Norwegian Cecily Velhoy and the Dutchman Aileen Charlotte – transfer large sums of money to him, because he tells them that his life will be in danger. Last year, the court had already ruled against Charlotte Dutch when she demanded damages. This case is still under appeal.
Dating fraud is a problem that mainly affects divorcees, mostly women, and widows. The total amounts associated with fraud have risen sharply in the Netherlands in recent years. In 2021, the amount was about seven million euros, while in 2020 about four million euros were defrauded, according to figures from the fraud help desk.
Read also: Simon was not a generous and wealthy businessman, but dating fraud is also more common in the Netherlands
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