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No, a phone call with 666 in the number will not kill you

A Facebook post claims 11 people were killed in Oke-Onitea in Nigeria’s Osun State after they received a phone call from a number containing “666” – described in the bible’s Book of Revelation as “the number of the beast”.

The 22 May 2017 post reads: “Please 666 is taking over now 11 people died this morning in okeaonitea Oshogbo today. After receiving calls from this number.+264866699666 and please. I beg u [you] send this number to all your family members and then to all people u [you] love Or people u don't want to loose [lose]and then tell them they should never ever try to answer that call. Pls [please] don't like dis just share.”

It has been shared over 36,000 times and continues to worry many Facebook users, even though it was shown to be fake eight years ago.



‘Be wary of agents of confusion’


Online media reports from 11 May 2017 quote the Osun State Police Command as saying: “It has come to the knowledge of the command, the circulation of a fabricated message indicating 11 persons had died at Oke-Onitea in Olorunda Local Government of Osun State consequent upon telephone calls received through number +264866699666.

“The command wishes to inform all members of the public that no such incident occurred in any part of the State. Members of the public are hereby enjoined to be wary of agents of confusion whose stock in trade is the misuse of social media to cause unnecessary apprehension.”

The Nigerian Communication Commission, according to the BBC, debunked a similar hoax in September 2011. It assured Nigerians that it was technically not possible for people to be killed by a phone call.

Photo of  ‘11 dead’ is from Ghana


An AFP fact-check established that the photo used in the post to illustrate the 11 deaths was taken in Ghana in March 2017.

It shows some of the 20 students who died in an accident at the Kintampo Falls, a popular tourist site in Ghana, on Sunday 19 March 2017. – Allwell Okpi (09/04/19)




 

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

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Africa Check teams up with Facebook

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The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

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