Don’t Believe This Facebook Hoax. Your Phone Does Not Have A ‘Name’

You might’ve seen a post circulating on Facebook, telling you that your phone has a secret “name” and inviting you to discover it by typing the last three digits of your phone number into the comments section. The post is part hoax: If you follow the instructions, it’ll indeed generate a first and last name, but this has nothing to do with your phone having a secret identity.

Here’s one of the messages that’s currently going around:

This appears to work only on mobile. When we tried it on desktop, Facebook automatically placed a space between the “@” and bracket symbols, and no name showed up.

But here’s what happened when I punched in my phone’s info on my mobile app.

In the right-hand column (above), you can see a list of paired names. All the way at the bottom is Lorenzo Ligato (me), and the name that appears directly below mine — Eugenie Shieh — is what appeared when I typed “@[565:0]” into my Facebook app.

This trick has been around for years, with some posts dating back as far as January 2012. Hoax Slayer, a community dedicated to debunking hoaxes and scams, says the name that appears when you type in that bracketed code corresponds not to your phone but to a real Facebook user.

Here are the details from Hoax Slayer: