I receive a message from scammer too.
It was discussion that scammers tried to steal teachers credentials.
Just know that italki don't send messages as users do. And never click any link from unknown person.
You are right Casey one of them did have a stock photo and another had a ridiculous fake name. It is very bothersome.
Other users can’t send you private messages because currently your contact permissions are set to “friends only”. That’s why you don’t receive scam. If you notice that Spanish teachers who claim to be native speakers, obviously aren’t native, you can report them to italki.
That’s weird that you get less messages. You’re a native English speaker. You should be flooded with unsolicited messages. Maybe you’re not so active in the forum and thus less visible? Or the majority of scammers target women?