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Beware of Scams

Scammers and fraudsters are a problem on all online communities. is no exception. You need to be cautious and use sound judgement when meeting strangers here, as you would anywhere.

Despite our best efforts to detect and remove scammers and fraudsters, they do still sometimes get through. Please be aware that our members have been scammed in the past, tricked out of tens of thousands of dollars.

Latest: The Romance Scam - Now with Passports

The romance scam has always been the most common scam seen at Now, there is a new twist. The scammers are showing you copies of their supposed passports to make their story more believable. Remember, never send money!

In the romance scam, the scammer (usually using a fake profile) makes you believe they have fallen in love with you. He/she then gets in some kind of trouble and needs you to send some money urgently. If female, she may need you to send money so she can come visit you. The signs of this scam may include:
  • The scammer sends photos but never video chats. He/she has a perfectly legitimate reason not to use video.
  • If male, he portrays himself as handsome and very successful, from a rich country like the USA or Sweden.
  • If female, she portrays herself as young and family oriented, often from a poor country.
  • He/she falls in love with you despite never having met you.
  • He/she may fall in love with you very soon after first communicating with you, sending multiple messages a day, showing genuine concern.
  • He/she may wait weeks or months before getting into trouble and asking for money.
  • His/her troubles for which he will need your money, may involve travel to a distant country where the laws and rules are not familiar to you, like Turkey. He may also claim to be sick and need money for hospital bills. He may need money for his business, which may be in an honorable sector like medical supplies.
  • When he asks you to transfer money, depending on his story, he may let you see his personal online bank account which may have a very high balance, perhaps millions of $US.
  • He may show copies of his passport, send photos of himself and allow you to verify his personal phone number.
  • He may ask you to transfer some of his own money before asking you to send yours.
  • After transfering the money as he/she asks, it does not solve his/her problem. Something else comes up and he asks you to urgently send more money.
  • If you resist sending money, he may get angry and threaten to stop loving you. He may claim to be depressed.
Please be careful. If you see any suspicious activity, or someone asks you to send money, please report this immediately to us here.

Chinese Investment Scam

Lately, our members are reporting the Chinese investment scam. One member even lost $5000. The scam looks like this:
  • A beautiful young chinese girl contacts you from Hong Kong, or Singapore.
  • She is successful and may work in fashion or modeling.
  • She may or may not flirt with you.
  • She may give you her phone number which may match her said location. She may even do some video chatting.
  • She may send photos of herself in settings showing her success such as being in an expensive car.
  • All her info checks out.
  • After some time (maybe a few weeks) she mentions she makes a lot of money trading in foreign exchange or cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. She convinces you she has made lots of money and can show you how you can too.
  • She asks you to send money to an account in Hong Kong or Singapore or China to invest, where your info and money is taken.
  • To gain your trust, she may refer you to a legitimate exchange first.
  • Cryptocurrencies seem to be important in this scam. Be aware that once you send them, there is no way to get it back. Also, sending money via bank transfer or another kind of transfer like Western Union is almost certainly not reversible.
  • Another strong warning sign is if she has to change her cell phone number. Most people will keep the same number if they get a new phone. Scammers however, may have had their number blocked.
Learn more about this scam here and here.

Other Scams Reported On Our Site

These 2 scams have been reported by our users in our teachers section.

Counterfeit Check or Overpayment Scam In this case, the learner was from overseas who was moving soon to the teacher's location. He prepaid for a large amount of language lessons by (apparently a very well forged) check. After depositing the check, the learner said that he could no longer take the language lessons and requested a refund via Western Union. The check later bounceed even though it had initially cleared.

For more details about this type of scam, how to spot it and avoid being a victim, please read the counterfeit check scam page from U.S. Federal Trade Commission here.

Work Visa Processing Fee Scam A learner posing to be living in the UK promised overseas teachers a job. The teacher is asked to send money to process the work visa.

In this case, the teacher and "learner" were communicating for almost 4 months. The teacher felt she had verified the teacher's claims and trusted him.

After sending the money, the learner was never heard from again.

Please be very cautious, especially when being asked to send money for any reason.

Other Common Internet Scams

In addition to the above scam that has been reported on our site. Please be aware of other common Internet scams reported here.

Report Scams

If you see any suspicious activity on our site, you agree to report it to us immediately here.

Thank you for your cooperation.


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