About suspicious messages and scams

Creating a safe space for our users to communicate with each other is our priority. We work diligently to reduce any spam or unwanted messages that might be sent on WhatsApp. However, just like regular SMS or phone calls, it's possible for other WhatsApp users who have your phone number to contact you. They may or may not be saved in your contacts.
These people might send you messages because they want to trick you into giving them personal or financial information, or they want to spread misinformation. Scams can happen anywhere and affect anyone, so we want to help you recognize and protect yourself from them.
What suspicious messages look like
There are clues that might indicate you’ve received a suspicious message, or that the sender can’t be trusted. Look out for these signs:
  • Typos or grammatical mistakes
  • Asking you to tap on a link, activate a new feature through a link, or download an app
  • Asking you to share your personal information, like credit card or bank account numbers, birth date, or passwords
  • Asking you to forward a message
  • Asking for money or claiming that you have to pay to use WhatsApp
  • The scammer pretends they're someone you know
  • The message is about the lottery, gambling, a job, an investment, or a loan
  • The person starts chatting with you to gain your trust before asking for personal information
When you receive messages from someone that is not in your contacts, we will show you signals in the message that you can use to determine how to respond. These signals will let you know if they're your contact, if you have groups in common, and if their phone number is registered in a different country. From there, you can decide if you should reply, add them as a contact, block them or report them.
To keep in mind
If a message looks suspicious or sounds too good to be true, don't tap, share, or forward it. If you identify a suspicious message, follow the steps in this article.
Always look closely at a link or file before opening it because it may appear to be legitimate, but could actually be malicious. Visit our Help Center to learn more about suspicious files.
As a best practice, if you aren’t sure whether something is true or don’t know who wrote the message you received, don’t forward it. Learn more about preventing the spread of misinformation in this article.
If you’re unsure of an unknown contact’s identity, ask them a personal question to confirm their identity and if they’re truly a known contact. You could also do a voice or video call with them to confirm their identity.
You can also report it, block the sender, and delete the message. Learn how to report and block contacts in this article.
As a reminder, WhatsApp is a free app and you don’t have to pay to use it.
Related resources
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