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Phil|Accent Trainer
Professional Teacher
Scammer account alert
Wherever you go, you’ll meet people with less than good intentions, and the internet is no exception. In particular, the better and more popular a website is, the more it will attract the wrong people — the kind of people who are looking to cause trouble.

I’ve just come across a new account in the discussion section. He claims to be American, a native English speaker, in Afghanistan. The profile picture shows soldiers performing military service. I won’t mention every suspicious sign (so as not to educate the scammers), but let’s just say that the mere fact he’s willing to help random young ladies from Brazil when he’s not even claiming to study Portuguese is, well, not normal. You’ll also notice that although he only writes  one-sentence comments, he makes multiple punctuation mistakes that no halfway educated speaker of any European language would make. I’m not sure he’s done enough to get flagged yet, but it would definitely be wise to keep an eye out for such accounts. I see no need to link to his profile here; the important thing is that we all just remember to keep our eyes open.


The following is his discussion comment, which, while grammatically correct (other than the bizarre punctuation) is not that of a native English speaker or any sort of American:

I am here for you ,lets go ahead ok

May 6, 2019 7:45 PM
Comments · 12

I think I'm up to 4 people that have contacted me in the last 2 weeks that were clearly scammers. I also get people contacting me that want to talk but their native language is English and when I let them know that they list English as a native language they either say "well I lied because..." or "oh, no I don't" and they change it. I've had both these things happen. 

I usually just ignore or block them maybe I should start reporting people who send inappropriate messages.

I've had some really weird ones.  One conversation I had was like this: Them: What ethnicity are you? Me: Why Them: You look Asian Me: no reply Them: why do you wear glasses? This is when I said "to see..." they send some more text and I blocked them. 




May 7, 2019
When the avatar shows a soldier I always do a reverse picture search and in most cases I land on sites that publish known scammer pics. Yeah, the scammer will be back in no time but maybe if we are diligent about reporting scammers, some may leave and look for other hunting grounds. Or at least we saved a possible victim or two. Many people must think it's strange to fall for a scammer but newbies who are desperately looking for an English speaking friend and who never had experience with a scammer before, might really fall for that because the excitement will cloud their judgement.
May 7, 2019
@Phil

As longterm users we're quite good at spotting scammers. I've never encountered an American soldier deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq who wrote faulty English and wasn't a scammer. When my gut tells me that's a scammer I report them.

May 7, 2019

Many people who are active in this community have gut feelings for scammers. I think we need to report them immediately to protect newbies here. Most scammers pretend to be native English speakers, and they have a legend, that they are American soldiers in Afghanistan. Most English learners dream to have a native English speaker as a language partner, and they are easy victims of scammers. 


Thanks to Phil to drow our attention to the scammer and thnks to others who reported the scammer.

May 7, 2019
I'm pretty sure I know that person. "American/ on a mission in Afghanistan/ soldiers"... he texted me a lot last week. But I reported him several days ago...Isn't he supposed to be banned or something?
May 7, 2019
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Phil|Accent Trainer
Language Skills
Catalan, Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Cantonese), English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
Learning Language
Chinese (Cantonese), Hebrew