Have you been a victim of cell phone cloning? It comes as no surprise considering phones are quickly becoming our digital identity. Therefore, cybercriminals are targeting the cell phone market to make a few extra bucks.
Luckily, knowing all aspects of cell phone cloning will help you avoid being a victim. Below is a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about phone cloning. Read on to ensure you safeguard your data and avoid identity fraud.
What is Cell Phone Cloning?
We often confuse cell phone cloning with cloning a phone’s data. Cell phone cloning refers to copying the identity of another phone to get messages and calls from the user. Cloning the data is copying the data from one device to another. Knowing the difference will help to know what issue you have at hand.
How Does Cell Phone Cloning Work?
This process involves two steps:
First, cybercriminals use what is known as an electronic scanner to identify SIM card identification numbers on nearby devices. Most of these crooks obtain such devices on the dark web at expensive prices.
Secondly, the attacker uses a SIM writer to duplicate your SIM details. Because these tools are legitimate, they are easier to access and quite cheap. The cloner can now insert the duplicate SIM into a different phone.
These cybercriminals proceed to make calls and send messages under the account of the original phone owner. Therefore, unsuspecting individuals cannot tell that their account has been compromised.
Signs of Cell Phone Cloning
As stated earlier, it can be almost impossible to know whether your cell phone has been cloned. However, the following tell signs indicate that someone else is accessing your cellular service:
Unrecognizable Texts or Calls on Your Cell Phone Bill
Did you know that all outgoing calls and texts from a cloned device would appear to be coming out of your end? Therefore, a closer look at your cell phone bill will help determine whether your phone has been cloned. Perform a reverse phone look-up when you come across strange calls or texts. Ensure you double-check everything whenever your bill is higher than expected.
Numerous Texts Requesting a Device Restart
One of the initial signs of phone cloning is several text requests asking you to restart the device. Attackers want you to restart the cell phone so that they can load your credentials into the cloned device. Therefore, ensure you contact your service provider immediately if you get texts asking you to perform a device restart.
Your texts and calls might be diverted to the cloned phone. In some instances, your cellular connection is halted entirely. Ensure you have someone call you and check whether your phone rings.
A Carrier Message Indicating a SIM Update
Your network provider will send a notification acknowledging a SIM update, every time your credentials are used on a new device. It is always a major red flag when you get this notification despite doing anything. Most devices will lose cellular service once you receive this notification.
You Are Unable to Access Your Accounts
Are you having difficulty getting into your accounts despite having the correct passwords? In most cases, an attacker will change the password credentials of emails and social media once they clone your phone. Ensure you contact your network provider immediately if you find it hard to log into your accounts.
How to Prevent Cell Phone Cloning
Protecting your phone from cloning comes down to treating your ESN, IMEI, or MEID number like all your other passwords. Never share them with anyone and keep a lookout for suspicious texts. It will also help to ensure you check your outgoing and incoming calls periodically.
The Bottom Line
Cell phone cloning can have a long-lasting impact on your financial future. It also compromises your identity and exposes you to several risks. Luckily, PeopleFinders gives you all the insight you need to protect your online presence. Start by checking out these antiquated laws you probably didn’t know existed.