WhatsApp stands as one of the most intimate texting and visual content-sharing platform that exists.
However, this has in no way shielded it from being plagued by the issue of people making use of fake numbers to access others on the platform.
It is sad that even on WhatsApp, people still resort to fraud and other horrible and harmful practices.
Since a person with your number can reach you whether you have the contact of the person or not, you still stand the risk of being contacted by a fake number on WhatsApp.
How will you know that the number that contacted you on WhatsApp is fake you may ask?
Here, in this guide, you will learn how to identify fake WhatsApp numbers and what to do about some cases of fake numbers.
You will equally find out things to do to prevent potential harm that can come as a result of relating with the wrong people on WhatsApp.
How to Identify Fake WhatsApp Number
The norm is for you to have the phone number of people that you relate with especially your family members.
So, while looking out for fake numbers on WhatsApp, numbers that are not a part of your contact list and do not have a convincing story as to how they got your phone number are the first place to look at.
To be able to identify a fake WhatsApp number, you must look out for certain indicators.
A Suspicious WhatsApp Display Status
The first place you can check to confirm if a number that is reaching you on WhatsApp is fake or not is to check the display status of the number.
A fake number will most likely not have any form of personal details displayed on their profile or about section.
Their display picture section will either be blank or not have a personal picture in it.
A Location and Country Code Mismatch
Every country and location has a way the phone number for that locality is formatted.
The norm is to have the country code of a location match any phone number in that location.
You can check out for this in the number that you are suspecting.
If the code of the number that is trying to connect with you on WhatsApp is not matching with the location of the phone number, then, the number is most likely fake.
Unrelatable International Numbers
A lot of scammers like to toss the idea of being from a foreign environment.
As such, they employ the tool of using phone numbers that are alien to their locality to make it pass for a foreign number.
You should be on the lookout if a foreign number that cannot establish a sound and reasonable basis for connection and relationship reaches out to you.
The chances that such a number might be a fake number are very high.
Recent Phone Number Registration Status
A way to confirm your suspicion of a WhatsApp number being fake will be to check the registration status of the number.
A recently registered number may have been registered for the purpose of being used for fraudulent activities.
However, this particular indicator should not be treated as a stand-alone indicator.
It is best to make use of this as a means of confirming other indicators of the number being fake.
How to Stay Safe on WhatsApp
It is always better to prevent the occurrence of horrible incidences as much as you can.
To protect yourself from threats and scammers on WhatsApp who would use fake numbers to reach out to you, you can practice the following safety/prevention tips.
Keep Your Profile Information Open to Your Contacts Only
You will not be able to stop people who are not in your contact base from reaching out to you but you can limit what they know about you if they eventually do.
Info such as about, last seen, profile picture can be get hidden from strangers that try to access you on the platform.
Here is how to keep these pieces of info hidden.
- Locate the Settings of the app.
- Select Account from the sections in the Settings.
- Choose the Privacy option.
- Tap on Last Seen and set the option to My Contact.
- Do the same for other details you wish to keep hidden from people whose contact you do not have.
Relate with People You Know
Until you can confirm that a person is who they claim to be, there is no reason not to be cautious.
The old do not talk to strangers’ rule should be applied when you do not recognize a number.
It is very risky to give out data to numbers that you do not know.
Sharing data like your photos, files, voice notes and audio recordings can all be used to harm you if these documents are given to the wrong people.
It is best to give out private data to only people that you can vouch for.
How to Identify Fake Whatsapp Number FAQs
Can the Police trace a fake WhatsApp number?
The answer to this question is a “Yes”.
Though the encryption used on WhatsApp is end-to-end, which makes the recipient the only one who can decrypt what has been encrypted on the sender’s device, the WhatsApp servers have the platform’s messages stored in them.
With a warrant, the Police can access the messages that can make it possible for them to track the fake WhatsApp number.
Are WhatsApp numbers real numbers?
When you open an account on WhatsApp, the number you get is an actual number that can be used to send and receive messages.
So, WhatsApp numbers are real numbers.
How can I check if a WhatsApp number is valid?
To check if a WhatsApp number is valid, do the following.
- Select your location to automatically enter your country code.
- Put your phone number in the box provided. Ensure you exclude the addition of 0 to the phone number.
- Press Next to request a verification code.
- Enter the verification code sent to you. It is a 6-digit code.
Note: You may be charged for the request code SMS.
How can I identify fake international numbers?
There are applications that allow people to generate fake international numbers.
The prevalent code being faked is that of the United Kingdom +44 and that of the United States of America +1.
If you do not reside in any of these countries and you are being contacted by someone using either of these two numbers or that of any other country that is not yours, you should check out their account details and do a google reverse check on the number.
It is most likely to be a fake international number.
It is important for you to be cautious while relating with people on WhatsApp.
While it seems as one of the safest applications for social networking, it can be full of harmful people as well.
A basic caution to apply is to be aware of the potential of having someone relate with you using a fake number on the platform.
Check out the display status of an account, confirm the details of the account using other social networks and be sure that the stranger that is trying to connect with you is real before you become open to relating with the person.
If you believe a WhatsApp number that is trying to connect with you is fake, you can block the user to prevent further conversation and potential harm.