This is how scammers get your WhatsApp number

Many people have received messages and video calls from unknown numbers posing as companies or family members and some have fallen into the trap of fraudsters.

Given this common practice, some people wonder, how did they get my WhatsApp number?

Iván Castañeda, engineer and Master in Information Technology with knowledge in OSINT (Open Source Intelligence), tells us how they do it.

Although leaking the base of some databases may be the most likely option, the truth is that they use another way to achieve it.

Engineer and Master in Information Technology with knowledge in OSINT (Open Source Intelligence), ivan castaneda He explains to us how they do it.

First, they search the browser to identify the region where a number is and thus determine which telephone company and country it is from.

They then use a script to generate random numbers within the sequence received from the browser. In this case, they generate 200 numbers in the CSV file to identify who has a WhatsApp account.

Once they have the CSV file containing the 200 numbers generated by the script, they will proceed to import them into Google Contacts.

Finally, they will verify who has the WhatsApp account. If a Google Contacts account is linked to a device, a simple update of contacts in WhatsApp will link all accounts to the platform, which will be used by scammers.

Caution must be exercised, as this data can also be linked to social networks through calendar contacts.

By linking them, scammers can get every detail of your information to start social engineering towards you and in serious cases, make extortion or threats.

How to avoid WhatsApp scams

1. Activate two-step verification

This tool allows you secure your account With a 6 digit PIN, which will be required from time to time to check its correct usage.

To activate it, you must:
  1. Go to WhatsApp Settings.
  2. Click on “Account”.
  3. Go to “Two-Step Verification” option.
  4. Enter a PIN and activate the code.

2. Restrict profile photos

Leaving free access to your profile photo is dangerous because someone can take a screenshot and Capture virtual identity. It is recommended to enable it only for specified contacts.

To do this, you must follow the following steps:

  1. Go to WhatsApp Settings.
  2. Click on “Account”.
  3. Go to the “Privacy” option and then go to the “Profile Photo” menu.
  4. Click on the “My Contacts” option.

3. Don’t share any codes

When a WhatsApp account is opened on another device, the service sends a 6-digit code via SMS. This PIN should never be shared with anyone. Otherwise, one can activate WhatsApp account from another phone.


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