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Lover, thief. a fascinating investigation into French Tinder scammers at the heart of the podcast

New Louie Media podcast mini-series, 4 episodes. Lover, Thief, Serial Scammers, Journalist Lissian Larbani resumes his investigation of French Tinder chameleon Lestie. And gives a voice to the victims who give their testimonies to build the answer.

At first glance Lestie had everything about the perfect man: elegance, humor, gentleness, kindness. Met on Tinder, the attentive lover promised happiness and commitment, arranged romantic trips, met families… before disappearing into the night. A scenario that has been repeated many times for about thirty victims who, along with the trauma of the lie, saw their financial deception.

Journalist Lisian Larbani updated this fraud mechanism in a major investigation published in December 2023. Set free. He continues his project with audio, with Lover, Thief, Serial Scammers, mini-series of 4 episodes that can be found Transitions, Louie Media’s true story podcast. “Who is really hidden behind this friendly smile and these big promises that have lured everyone in their path? And most importantly, how can we succeed in establishing the truth when this man is so highly regarded and some do not want to see the truth?” he asks in the introduction.

Here, the reporter crosses the testimonies of Juliet, Elsa, Marie and Enzo who met in the summer of 2023. The first two tell their story with this serial lover and cheater. At first everything seems ideal. “The perfect match” according to them. Lestie is caring, generous, seems almost harmless. He offers Juliet a fabulous trip to a southern Portuguese villa in Faro, then the same to Elsa, who arrives at the airport only to discover that the ticket sent is fake. The beginning of a chain of lies, inconsistencies, last minute cancellations and fraud.

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Promises and disappointments

However, Juliet and Elsa are not the only victims of the Tinder bastard. In fact, Lestie has maintained relationships with nearly thirty women between the ages of 35 and 45, sometimes running six stories at a time. The process is simple for scammers: a Tinder meeting and promises of commitment, family life and marriage. But these meetings only become frustration for the victims.

Extortion of money, abuse of weaknesses, falsification and use of forgeries, falsification of STI tests. so far several complaints have been filed against him. Liziane Larbani’s investigation deciphers the mechanism of manipulation developed by Lesti to gradually make himself indispensable in the lives of these women, but also the men. In the third episode, Enzo is also deceived by Lesti, whom he considers his “spiritual big brother”.

Lesti’s story certainly resonates with Simon Leviev, the Tinder scammer who was the subject of a 2022 documentary on Netflix. Seducing women online, he posed as a wealthy businessman to extort millions of dollars from them. Now it’s time to avenge his victims like Lesty’s.

Historical inflation

Lissian Larbani wanted to give women a voice and let them organize the response. “It was important to me that they testify at length to follow their story. Making their voices heard through the podcast thus allows (…) to develop their story, from meeting this person to discovering who they really are,” she notes in a post about the intention.

“There has been an increase in news about love scams in the media for some time now,” we hear in the first episode. A phenomenon of cheating that is becoming more and more common in online romances. In 2022, Norton, a company specializing in cyber security, conducted a survey on this issue. Result: one in four French adults has fallen victim to online fraud.

However, Lisian Larbani remains convinced that Lesti would only be “a golden boy to feed this front” and that “the fraud is a bonus”, he elaborated in the interview. humanity, In January. Lesti has just been charged with fraud, breach of trust, forgery and using a falsehood. He is currently under judicial supervision.

Lover, thief, serial fraud4 episodes to listen to TransitionsLouie Media’s true story podcast.

Source: Le Figaro

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