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WARNING: Have you met a scammer before?

Have you met a scammer before? Do you know anyone who was scammed?

No, I wasn't scammed.

But the reason I am asking this is, partly, to warn everyone to be on high alert because scammers are everywhere. And partly, because I just got another message from whom I am sure is a scammer. (All the typical scammer signs are present. If you watch enough documentaries about them, you would know..)

They used to be on dating apps but now they have spread to language learning apps that disturb the peace and harmony of language learners. (That pisses me).

If you are interested in how they scam people, go watch the documentaries on youtube about scammers. There are all kinds of scams - love scams, sex scams, investment scams, money transfer scams, IRS scams, kidnap scams, etc.

And I kept getting messages from people who know ZERO Japanese. I have stated very clearly I am learning Japanese. So if people who don't speak any Japanese send me messages, they have nothing to "exchange" with me. So why should I bother to reply them? It's a waste of my time.

And yes, I also get messages from "handsome strangers" who are in fact pictures of actors/models. (after I used reverse google image search). These people will get nothing from me but my reprimand. And anyway, I am not looking for dates so why should I care if you are good-looking or not?

Anyway, I apologize if I sounded rude. But please, everyone, be vigilant! Do your homework.

If you meet language partners, please meet in public places with lots of people. 

Don't trust people easily and don't ever send any money to people whom you have never met, no matter how they "claim" they are in love with you.

Also, don't ever give anyone your bank accounts for them to transfer funds. They will be using you as money mules. The funds they transfer into your accounts are illegally obtained so you will get in trouble with the law in your country.

If it's too good to be true, it probably is.

Please warn your friends,  your parents, your grandparents, your relatives, and everyone that you know on these contemptible scammers.

(And yes, I have met wonderful language partners from another language learning app. So there are still nice people out there).

Mar 14, 2018 1:14 PM
Comments · 6
There is nothing rude in this. You are doing a great job by spreading awareness among people. Plus, I didn't know that people also receive sex scams and kidnap scams on italki which is shocking. Thanks for informing me, I'll be careful in future. :-)
March 14, 2018

This kind of warning thread is required here to warn people who are innocent and gullible. The weapon of those scammers: a dashing profile picture and sweet and cheesy conversation. So, Be aware of such person, especially ladies or more specifically, ladies who are here for learning ENGLISH(Mainly Asian, Middle Eastern) 

There is a gang of scammers here on italki who introduce themselves as native English speaker who worked in the US army and posted in Afghanistan. They approach users(mainly ladies), told them that they would help them, start conversation, tell them some emotional stories and when they think the person has invested a large amount of trust on them, they start telling them some kind of business plan and ask them to help them or simply ask for money. 

Someone shared her experience here before and I also came to know from some users that how they were approached by these  fake anglophones. 

So, especially, ladies: "Don't Trust Anyone" even if you are here for learning or looking for language partners for your target languages! And be aware of those emotional traps, don't let anyone play with your emotion... Be strong!

But don't worry much because you will for sure come across some awesome people here.:)

March 14, 2018

Hi Julie, first off; yes, I have, and they can be very dangerous. That being said: would you care to elaborate what kind of scammers you have seen on italki and more specifically how the potential scam would have worked? Without that information, your post comes across as well-intentioned, but also somewhat alarmist. Thanks!

Example: Computer Service scam - pretends to be Microsoft service tech and tries to convince you to install ransom-ware or malware on your PC. 

Example 2: The tea-house scam (common in China) - tries to gain the confidence of a foreign tourist to invite him for a hugely overpriced cup of tea at a complicit tea house.

i have more, but I am wondering what EXACTLY you saw on italki. If it is a scam, it should be reported to service and the user banned.

March 14, 2018
Thanks Julie, a million times.
March 14, 2018

Hi Hardik,

Sorry I didn't make myself clear.. there are no sex scams or kidnap scams on italki but they exist in other platforms. Thank you for the encouragement. I appreciate it.

March 14, 2018
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Language Skills
Burmese, Chinese (Mandarin), English, Japanese
Learning Language