Keeping yourself safe on Tandem

TLDR: If somebody you met on Tandem is asking for money or financial details, treat them as a scammer and report them immediately.

At Tandem, we have given ourselves three guiding community principles. We are here to learn languages, we celebrate the diversity of our community, and we share our knowledge generously.

We are so proud of our community bursting with passionate language learners. However, we are aware that friendly communities like ours can, on occasion, be targeted by scammers.

What is a scammer?

Scammers create fake profiles on Tandem by using photos that are not their own. They contact other members, try to build relationships, give fake information about their life and eventually ask for money.

In order to keep yourself safe on Tandem:

- Remember the rules of internet safety

Never send money or give out any personal details!

- Use your best judgment

Ask yourself if this person’s behavior seems normal for someone wanting to learn languages. Tandem is not a dating app, so be cautious of members who are using Tandem for dating purposes.

- Communicate through Tandem

Tandem is designed to keep you safe. Community moderators are always on hand to help you and can ban members if necessary. If someone is suggesting to switch messaging platforms, to WhatsApp, WeChat or Line for example, please have a video call with them on Tandem first to verify their identity.

Currently there are 2 different types of scams to be mindful of:

1. Romace Scams

Common behaviours:

  • The scammer pretends to be a middle-aged male who claims to be from the USA or UK who is working overseas on an oil rig or peacekeeping mission, for example.
  • They will ask you to switch to a different messaging platform, like WhatsApp, WeChat or Line.
  • They will not want to have a video call with you (as that would expose their real identity).
  • They will confess romantic feelings towards you very quickly.
  • They will tell you that they have a financial emergency and need money to release something from customs, pay for a visa, medical problems, or something important for their children or job.

2. Investment/Currency Scams

Common behaviors:

  • The scammer pretends to be a younger female from China or Hong Kong and they claim to own a coffee shop, beauty salon or restaurant.
  • They will ask you to switch to a different messaging platform, like WhatsApp, WeChat or Line.
  • They will not want to have a video call with you (as that would expose their real identity).
  • They pretend to be interested in the stock market or economy of your country.
  • They will ask you to invest in online currency, cryptocurrency or stocks.

If you have any questions or suspect you have been contacted by a scammer, please report this person using the reporting function in the app. The person will never know you reported them.

If you would like to read more about typical online scammer behavior, we recommend reading this guide by the US Federal Trade Commission.