I have my skype privacy settings defined to only allow IMs from people in my contact list. I also have this set for calls/video, etc. And yet, almost every morning when I boot up I have a conversation request from somebody I do not know. Shouldn't these settings block these requests? Is there a way to actually only allow IMs from people in my contact list in skype that works?
All you should have to do is go to file>options>Privacy> Then choose the options you want
Skype does not (and never has) prevented new users from sending requests to exchange contact details -- a feature to prevent such unsolicited approaches has been suggested many times
the privacy settings DO NOT apply to such requests, they apply to calls and IM
yes, a request to exchange details can include a reltively short introductory message and, yes, to a large degree, these messages LOOK like normal IM (especially if you collapse the upper section of the conversation window), but they are not
if your privacy is set to accept IM only from people on your contact list, this new user cannot send you any more regular IM, they cannot call you, they cannot send you files, and they canoot see your profile details or your online status
if they send you another request to exchange details (assuming you haven't blocked them already) they can include more introductory message
yes, if they create a new Skype Name, they can bug you some more, but there is also a way to report such abuse to Skype
that's how it is and how it always has been
This is default behavior with Skype. Unfortunately if they limit friend requests, they would render the tool unusable for some users. This is annoying at times, however a some point your contact info will get purged from the spammers lists if you fail to respond.