Do you have any idea how phone cloning works? If not, how will you protect your phone against phone cloning?
Actually, no one knows this until they face the situation themselves. You cannot do much when the damage has already been done.
Additionally, it is really difficult to bring your phone back to normal once cloned. That’s why you should protect your device against phone cloning beforehand rather than regretting later on.
Phone cloning is a technique data from one device is transferred to another.
In this way, the other phone becomes the replica of the original device while working as a clone. It is also known as phone piracy, where fraudsters use your phone number to make international calls.
Here, you have to pay for those expensive calls. In case you are experiencing unexpectedly high bills, there is a chance that you are prey to phone cloning.
Due to digital networks, phone cloning is not common nowadays. There are also many phone clone apps online. It used to be a threat to mobile devices at one time.
However, one can still see fraudulent activities going on. Today, one percent of mobile users face the issue of phone cloning. Read on to learn further about phone cloning!
How Does Phone Cloning Work?
In traditional phone cloning, fraudsters use clone devices by monitoring signals between phones and cell towers. In this way, these people used to make expensive calls like international calls on the phone bill of others.
Nowadays, phone cloning is not that common. All thanks to the digital network system. However, it can happen when calls fall back on the analog system in some specific areas.
Digital networks signify that multiple signals can use a similar channel that a single analog call once used. As a matter of fact, signals are binary now, which makes the scanning of cell signals really difficult. However, there is a drawback of this digital network system, which is analog backups.
Several carriers maintain analog cell stations to handle the overflow in areas with high traffic. If a single station becomes quite busy, it diverts calls on the analog network. People who own a scanner within that network range can yield the IMEI of their mobile device. This is what they require to clone your phone.
These scanners are illegal to use and difficult to access. However, most people get these scanners from the dark web for a small amount. On the other hand, people who like to clone phones do not care much about legality.
So, when cloners get their hands on your IMEI number, it becomes really easy for them to clone your mobile device. Using your number, they make calls everywhere all around the world while you have to pay for the same.
Analog systems make use of the CDMA technology, where data like MIN (Mobile Identification Number) and ESN (Electronic Serial Number) transmit beside your call data. Cloners can easily get hands-on MIN and ES. They just need to flash any blank phone with the phone data for phone cloning.
Now, digital systems make use of the GSM technology that uses the IMEI number of the phone. It is not much easy to get a hand with the IMEI number. First, you need to capture the IMEI number and then employ a SIM reader and writer to replica the SIM.
With the help of an empty SIM and SIM cloning tool, one can write the IMEI number on the empty SIM within a few seconds. SIM readers and writers are easily accessible in various online stores.
How Do You Know if Your Device is Cloned?
If you suspect your device is cloned, you can check out the various signs below. However, there is no direct way to know the real answer. All you can do is check some signs, which include the following:
- Calls from the SIM carrier asking whether you traveled abroad or not.
- An increase in the number of SMS and calls all of a sudden.
- Rise in calls from abandoned or wrong numbers than usual.
- Facing issues while accessing the voicemail or disappearance of voicemails altogether.
- Unusual or more call activity on your phone bill.
So, you can check out all these signs if you feel like someone else is making calls from your device. After that, you can do more checkups on phone cloning in other ways.
Other Ways to Recognize Phone Symptoms
In case your phone is being cloned by someone, you will start to receive error messages. These error messages include texts like your device cannot connect to the network.
On the other hand, you will start to miss out on texts and calls because they all are being routed to the other device that is making use of your phone number.
In some cases, you even receive notifications from the SIM carrier that your phone number has been moved to a new phone. Some applications also send notifications regarding the same as you have signed in using a new phone.
Users who own Android devices can use Google’s Find My Device to check where the application thinks your device is. Those who use iOS devices can perform the same task to see the location of their device.
However, these applications do not work for this purpose but definitely give you a clue about phone cloning.
In this way, you can check whether your phone has been cloned or not by somebody else in a foreign country. Before testing out this sign, do not forget to enable or turn on the location on your device.
The best way to detect phone cloning is by keeping a close eye on your phone bill. Keep checking your bill every month and examine unusual phone calls. To find unidentified calls, use reverse phone research to see who the next person is.
On the other hand, you can even contact your phone carrier while suspecting unusual phone activity. Doing so can help you identify the tower from where the call has been made or originated.
Obviously, you need to face problems if your phone becomes prey to phone cloning. In most cases, people need to buy a new SIM card to stop the act of phone cloning altogether. That’s why; it is best to prevent phone cloning in the first place rather than face problems later on.
How to Protect Your Device Against Phone Cloning?
Due to phone cloning, you must pay huge bills without making any calls. If you do not want this to happen, you must take some preventive measures against phone cloning. It is better to take precautions beforehand.
So, you need to keep some things in mind to prevent any fraudulent activity on your mobile device.
Preventive Measures Against Phone Cloning
So, to protect your device from cloning, you can make use of certain preventive measures. These points to remember to include the following:
- Always keep your mobile device with you all the time.
- Secure your phone using a biometric lock or PIN.
- Switch off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth when no longer in use.
- Do not use unauthorized applications on your phone.
- Do not jailbreak or root your mobile device.
- Clear out cookies, cache, and browsing history on a regular basis.
- Keep your device protected with the help of a security application.
- Can iPhones be cloned? Yes, all smartphones, including iPhones, can potentially be cloned.
- What should I do if I suspect my phone has been cloned? If you suspect your phone has been cloned, contact your service provider immediately.
- Is phone cloning illegal? Yes, phone cloning is illegal and is considered a form of identity theft.
- Can phone cloning be detected by network providers? Sometimes network providers can detect cloning if there is unusual activity, but it’s not guaranteed.
- Can phone cloning be done remotely? Yes, with advanced tools and techniques, cybercriminals can potentially clone a phone remotely.
So, follow these points to protect your device against phone cloning. However, it is not prevalent today as it used to be in the past. This is so because of modern technology. But still, phone cloning is there and happens to some people.
As a matter of fact, you cannot do much to prevent phone cloning, but preventive measures can lower your chances of phone cloning significantly.
The best way to prevent your device from phone cloning is by setting up a biometric or PIN screen lock. Fraudsters cannot access your device if there is a barrier in between. So, keep your device protected using preventive measures.