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Alert: People trying to sell accounts that are about to be deleted

Hi folks!

If anyone sees someone offering to sell their Duolingo account, please alert a couple of moderators right away. Make sure to give the moderators a link to the discussion and the full URL to that person's profile. If you can give the moderator a screenshot of the discussion too, that would be really great! If you cannot contact a moderator, please fill out this form here.

Why this message:

Recently, someone used scripting to boost their account levels and then tried to sell it. Don't buy someone's else's account. Accounts that are caught scripting* are removed by staff. Not banned, but entirely deleted. So, you would be wasting your money. Additionally, it is not safe to give out your financial information to strangers on the internet. They might try to steal your money!

If you choose to warn the people commenting in such a discussion that they should not buy such an account for the reasons above, you may do so. But, you must be be very polite about it. If you are perceived as harassing, that could also get you in trouble too.

Remember, as a basic rule, you may not use the forums to ask for money, whether you are asking for donations or trying to sell something.

To summarize: Persons advertising the sell of their account might break into your bank account/paypal. AND might not give you anything in return or might give you an account that is slated for removal.

Thanks everyone for helping us keep the Duolingo Community a safe place to learn!

*See Guidelines to read more about the scripting issue.

May 26, 2017



thank you

we need to be alert

thank you


First world problems. I can't imagine why someone would do this. Thanks for the heads up.


I cann't imagine why someone would spend money on something that is free to begin with. If you don't want to learn the language, why bother.?


Now I've heard everything.


I imagine that the sale price of a Duolingo account must be heavily discounted these days now that both immersion and the activity stream have been deleted.


If you don't mind, can you (or anyone) answer my question: How about people selling their accounts for lingots, not for money? And what should other users and Moderators do in this case?


I think that they should still be removed completely because they are not learning and earning to the best of their ability. it is also still just the same.


Okay, thanks so much for your answer. That is what I need to know :)


It seems stupid to me to sell an account... I mean....

Hard work pays off more in the long run, and if you have a good job, being bilingual can potentially get you more money.


I don't know what scripting means please explain the definition


Rewriting the code on a page to get something out of it that the website wouldn't do normally.


How can i tell mods if there is no activity stream?


Usagiboy7 provided a link to use in case you cannot contact a moderator.


Could you or Usagiboy7 post a topic called "How to contact moderators" or something similar and sticky it? The link that's in this post will be effectively invisible as this discussion disappears into the tunnel of past postings.


We'd have to post it a few times a day with the speed of things. Instead, I'll try start adding it in each of my new discussions. Thanks for inspiring the idea!


Thanks! It's unfortunate that at the moment there doesn't seem to be any way of contacting you and your fellow moderators except on the open forums.


Hilarious that some would even consider buying an account, sorry but that's just pathetic.

For as far as I care people can bot as much as they want, they're only fooling themselves.


It seems strange to me that people would want to buy accounts with high levels without learning the languages themselves? Seems like a bit of a waste to me... #knowledgeispower #Learningisfun #HashtagsdontworkonDuolingo


I agree, the most fun part is actually learning and leveling up. I guess the people who buy accounts just want to show off.


It would be funny if the people buying the accounts were to be challenged in real life. What does ¿Qué Pasa? mean? You don't know, yet you have completed the Spanish tree and hit level 25? Seems a bit odd haha...


I cannot believe people doing that.


Thank you for the warning. I would never buy an account because it just ruins the learning but we do need to be alert to this. the Duolingo community is a great place, but its just those minor majority that ruins it by doing things like that. Learning a language should be fun, so there is no point in doing things like that because there is no use of it. it devalues the true experience of duolingo. to those who don't do this, keep going because you are sure better than those who are scripting. :)


Oh... they probably did that for the lingots, well at least the customers probably need the lingots. If only Duolingo could allow us to pay them for additional lingots at a cheaper price than these guys. It'd be like reddit gold.


From the comments, some folks are missing the bigger part: Someone might break into your bank account, paypal, etc. and then either not give you an account or give you one that is slated for removal. I'll highlight that in the OP. :)


Modymod, how can't I PM you / privately contact a mod?


If you visit my profile and don't see the option to message me where the old activity stream was, then your version of the account doesn't have the option to. However, I have linked a way to contact staff in the OP.


And oh another thing:

In the past I've worked on a javascript for quickly reviewing voc (one that I'm not actively developing, but might perhaps finish). ~2 weeks ago I for the first came across a post that mentions something along the lines of "starting sessions by a script isn't allowed ... you can get banned for it".

Now, the script I've worked on (and might perhaps further work on in the future) "halfway" integrates some tinycards features and would also strengthen words reviewed through it. Would it be allowed to strengthen words through a custom reviewing script? It doesn't really start a session, but what's exactly ment by "session" is up for interpretation.

Edit: for clarification, it would only strengthen words (no xp involved)


I think "run" in this case referred to scripts pulling the answers from the incubator while you sit back and relax.


That is a good question. I don't build scripts. Computer tech isn't my area of expertise. You might ask Jrikhal or Danmoller. They have some tech know-how and might have more insight than I do about what might or might not be ok.


Accounts that are caught scripting* are removed by staff.

I have noticed a few accounts recently that are obviously using scripts to cheat (e.g. very high level but have only completed the first skill in a tree). What is the best way to bring this to the attention of staff? Even without trying to sell their accounts, people who do this devalue Duolingo's attainment system and the considerable efforts of the honest majority of users.


Use the submit a bug report and there is a drop-down where you can choose what kind of bug it is. One of the options is "Report Abuse". As Usagiboy7 mentioned, please provide links to the account and snapshots if possible. Thanks!


How does Duolingo even prove they are doing it?


Everything you do on Duolingo is registered, so in general it's fairly obvious and easy to see in the user data.


I presume that completing a lesson using a script happens far faster than is humanly possible (a few seconds per lesson, I'd guess), and that these times are recorded in logs that are accessible to staff. There might be other ways too, but that seems the most obvious and fail-safe one.

(Of course, someone could write a script that cheats slowly to obfuscate this, but I rather doubt this would have occurred to someone just looking for an XP-shortcut in the code.)


Thank you; I was aware of this form, but it didn't occur to me to take screenshots. Anyway, it appears that action has been taken in one particularly visible case (unless the user in question has simply deactivated—hopefully not); in which case I'm edified that my reports have not just been flowing into the abyss.


okay, will do!! that is SO weird that people do that!!

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