Facebook cell phone name trick




In theory, if they had a lot of time, they could just search all 9,,, potential numbers until they stumbled upon yours. Clearly, this isn't very efficient, so let's see the right way of doing it. In the examples below, her number was changed to protect her real number. If you think of a target's phone number as one of all the possible digit US phone numbers, you can quickly see that 10 billion North American phone numbers it far too large a list to effectively search through.

Let's take an example: Looking at the NANP, we can see that the first three numbers are the area code, and the plan allows for 2—9 as the first digit and for the second and third digits. That information right there eliminates one billion possible numbers from the hacker's list. The hacker can also quickly take advantage of this if they know or can take an educated guess at where you live, as it's as easy a Google search. By doing this, the hacker can remove a further 9 billion million numbers from the list of potential guesses.


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The next three numbers after the area code in our example are the central office prefix. Again, the plan calls for 2—9 for the first digit and 0—9 for both the second and third digits, but with a caveat. In area codes where the second digit is 1, the third can't also be 1.

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Hoax – ‘Your Cell Phone Has a Name’

This yet again removes a large number of phone numbers from the hacker's list. The last four digits of the phone number is the line number, in this case, I took the educated guess that the Mayor of DC would have a DC area code, and a hacker could also look up the target's Facebook account and likely find a hometown or the current city the target lives in or works from. Some larger cities like Los Angeles will have multiple area codes within them, but no matter how many "split" area codes there are, it still greatly reduces the hacker's list of possible numbers. Now that I know my target's number is ???

Thankfully, Facebook has our back and has made this probably the second easiest step, after using the area code. In order to get the last two numbers, we just have to go a few steps into the password reset process. To do this, the hacker goes to the main Facebook page and clicks "Forgot account" to start the process. The hacker is then presented with a list that includes a face picture paired with each matching account that helps them quickly identify their target. There's our target right at the top!

Facebook then kindly provides the hacker the last two digits of the targets number, along with some information about the emails accounts associated with their Facebook account, such as the first and last letter, and sometimes the email domain. That's as far as the hacker has to go. They don't actually reset the password, and they shouldn't so that the target never receives any kind of notification to tip them off.

With over million users, PayPal and other services can help add to the information the attacker has collected so far. In this case, if the target is a PayPal user, the hacker can get two additional digits of the phone number we're looking for. In the picture above, you may have noticed that the first email listed is a Gmail account that starts with "M" and ends with "R.

That's funny, since my targets first name starts with an "M," and her last name ends with an "R. Google accepted it, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's the target's email. The hacker can check by doing the same password reset trick they pulled with Facebook.

Yep, this account just so happens to have a number that ends in I think not. Now that I have an email to work with, I can jump over to PayPal in a new tab, and once again, use the same password reset trick. This time, when I get to the password reset screen, I get not only all four digits of the line number, but also the first number of the area code too!

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This allows me to be reasonably sure that I'm on the right track with the area code, and verifies my previous work on finding the last few numbers. This means I have the number ???

In other words, my list has gone from 10 billion choices to about a thousand in just a few minutes of work. At this point, a hacker could just start throwing numbers into the Facebook search bar, but that still wouldn't be that efficient.

Does your Cellphone Have a Name? Another Silly Facebook Hoax

So what does a lazy hacker do? They take advantage of a Facebook feature that allows you to conduct a bracket search. Facebook allows you to upload lists of contacts in CSV format, and then tells you if they are on Facebook so you can add them as friends. By constructing my own contact list of potential numbers, I can quickly rule out large chunks of wrong numbers.

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In this case, I know the number has to be in the range from to By cutting that in half and creating a list of numbers from to , I can effectively rule out half of my list, as the target will only be in one of the two half lists created. Then, I can upload the list and instantly determine if they are on it or not. From there, a hacker can open the file in Google Sheets or Excel and change the column formula for the phone numbers to one that will iterate over the numbers they need to check, as seen in the following example. In the excel formula below, I start by taking the lowest value phone number, in this case, , then I add 10, to it in order to increase the fifth place digit by 1.

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This formula will repeat as many times as needed, but we shouldn't do it more than 1, times because there are only a thousand numbers in our list to guess. If the target hadn't had a PayPal account to help us derive the third and fourth place digit, then we would be adding to increase the third digit instead.

From there, it is simple to sign into a Facebook account and go to the Friend Finder feature. Click on the Gmail logo and then "Find Friends. Next, scroll to the bottom of the page and upload your CSV file containing the phone numbers you wish to try. After it's uploaded, Facebook presents the hacker a list of "Friends" to add from the list. They would then search for their target inside that list.

My target doesn't seem to be here, so I know they aren't in this half of our batch of numbers. Next, instead of testing the next , I split the next in half and check one of those halves. This is because I already know the target will be on the second list since they weren't in the first half. The hacker can continue searching in this way until the target appears on a phone number list. From there on out, the hacker would test smaller and smaller batches of numbers until they have only a handful to test.

I stopped when I had it down to about 30 numbers. Obviously, this will take longer if the hacker has less information about the other digits of the phone number to begin with, as they will have a larger number set to search. Facebook will rate-limit the hacker to five attempts per day but they can get around this by signing into another account. 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.

As noted by Hoax Slayer, the trick works even when you enter numbers that are shorter or longer than three digits. When we typed into Facebook the sequence [4: Your phone, then, might not really have a name. Maybe pick the name for your first child? Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. But here's what happened when I punched in my phone's info on my mobile app. Here are the details from Hoax Slayer: Each and every Facebook Profile has a unique Identification Number associated with it.

The code has no connection whatsoever to your cell phone number. The number entered does not have to be only three digits, and in fact most Facebook ID's will be considerably longer. These short three digit profile numbers suggest that they belong to some of Facebook's earliest users.

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