Tips for Language Exchange Partners
1. Establish boundaries: are you ok with Skype video, whatsapp or message exchange? A real partner will respect your choices to avoid video.
2. Do not give your telephone number to anyone if it is linked to facebook, paypal or your Email. Criminals can easily clone your sim card if they have your number.
3. Look at the person's italki profile. Have they made many contributions? What are they? Look for irregularities like: no text or background info or only stating they are from USA. Scammers look for stupid people and often leave obvious signs they are fake to see who doesn't notice.
4. Avoid direct questions about your personal life. Choose a topic from www.esldiscussions.com until you know the person better.
5. If you don't feel comfortable, trust your instincts, block the person and walk away. Remember scammers can wait months to build up personal relationships with you.
6. If the person seems vague or not interested then choose a topic, many people don't know how to hold a conversation or do an exchange. A scammer is more likely to be expert at drawing you in with words talking only about your or their personality.
7. Absolutely avoid conversations about religion or personal bellefs.
8. Is the person a teacher? Ask directly if he expects payment or is only searching for students. Report him to italki if he pressures you to take lessons at any point. The word teacher does not always mean honesty.
Most of all stay safe and happy.