TechJunkie is a BOX20 Media Company

Home Mobile iPhone How Cell Phones are Cloned and How To Stop it From Happening To You

How Cell Phones are Cloned and How To Stop it From Happening To You

How Cell Phones are Cloned and How To Stop it From Happening To You

Cell phone cloning, while not as prevalent as it used to be, continues to be an issue for some mobile phone users. Cell phone cloning is a method, using electronic equipment, for criminals to steal the identity of a phone, hijack the carrier, and get free service for themselves.

This can be anything from a minor nuisance to a serious problem for the victim of cloning. The consequences range from having bogus charges appearing on one’s bill, all the way up to criminal charges being filed if a cloned phone is then used to commit a crime.

In this article, I will explain what cell phone cloning is, how it works, and what you can do to protect yourself against cell phone cloners.

How cell phone cloning works

Cloning a cell phone is a two-step process.

Our Recommendation

First, the crooks use an electronic scanner to detect the electronic identification number of the SIM card in a nearby phone. There are a variety of different kinds of scanners and they can be found on the dark web among other places; it isn’t our goal here to teach you how to clone a phone so I’m not going to link to any of the places where they can be bought.

Scanners are relatively expensive and difficult to get, but not impossible. Most phones have significantly enhanced security against cloning operations, a phone cloner is much more likely to try to get physical access to the SIM card. With physical access to the card, cloning is relatively easy to accomplish, especially for those on the GSM network where swapping sim cards between phones is simple.

Once the cloner has the information (usually consisting of the electronic serial number of the SIM card, and its authentication key), they will use a SIM writer to make a duplicate SIM card.

Because SIM writers are legitimate tools with many legal uses, they are easy and inexpensive to acquire, and anyone with $10 or $15 to spare can get one via eBay without any hassle. The cloner can then put the duplicated SIM card in another phone, and use that phone to make calls and connections under the original phone owner’s account.

It used to be much easier to clone cell phones than it is today. In the early days of cellular communication, both the phones themselves and the cell network that supports the phone operated on analog technology.

Now all cell phones are digital and their signals are encoded and encrypted, making it almost impossible to scan for SIM information. There is one weakness in the system, however, and that is the existence of analog backups.

In high-traffic areas, many carriers keep analog cell stations running to handle the overflow. When a single station becomes very busy, it overflows some calls to the old analog network. Someone with a scanner within range of that network can harvest your phone’s identifying information.

Analog systems used CDMA technology which transmitted your phone’s ESN (Electronic Serial Number) and MIN (Mobile Identification Number) along with the call data. Digital systems use GSM which shifted to using a phone’s IMEI.

The ESN and MIN used to be simple to flash, IMEI is slightly different. Now, they can capture IMEI data and use a hardware SIM reader and writer to clone the SIM, not the card.

The signs of a cloned phone

There is no easy way to tell that your phone has been cloned. If your friends and family and receiving phone calls from you, your phone number may have been “spoofed” meaning someone is using an application that mimics your phone number on caller ID. Your phone may have been hacked as well.

Tracking the location and activity of your phone is different from cloning. Here is an article to help you prevent your cell phone from being tracked.

However, there are a few telltale signs that may indicate your phone has been cloned, including:

  • A call from your carrier asking if you have traveled.
  • A sudden increase in calls or SMS messages from unknown or unfamiliar numbers.
  • More wrong numbers or abandoned incoming calls than usual.
  • Disappearing voicemails or difficulty accessing your voicemail.
  • More and/or unusual call activity on your bill.
  • Your phone suddenly stops making phone calls or connecting to the cellular network – this happens when someone duplicates a SIM card and puts it in a different phone.

If you do suspect foul play there are a couple of other things you can check.

If you use Android, use Google Find my Phone to check your phone’s location. If you use iPhone, Find My iPhone to do the same. These are not exact, but they should at least offer a clue if your phone has been cloned by someone in a different country. However, this will only work if the location is enabled on the phone.

You can check your call and text log online with most carriers. This will alert you that there’s suspicious activity such as; phone numbers dialed that you’re certain didn’t come from your phone.

Talk to your carrier if you have suspicions. Although carriers do not track your phone or your activity, they can provide you with a new SIM card or direct you to an updated list of your call and text activity.

Preventing phone cloning

The most effective step you can take to prevent your phone from being cloned is not to let it out of your sight or let it fall into the possession of another person. Because of the enhanced security in the phone networks, it’s very difficult, bordering on impossible, for someone to effectively clone your phone just because you walk past their scanner.

Instead, they have to physically get their hands on the device so that they can pull the identifiers off the hardware or download a cloning application.

You should definitely secure your phone using a PIN number or a biometric (fingerprint) password so that if you lose your phone, someone else can’t get access to it. To prevent wireless interception of your information, turn off Bluetooth and WiFi when you’re not using them.

Don’t install suspicious apps that you aren’t 100% certain aren’t Cloneware. Cellphone cloning isn’t as prevalent as it once was, but it still happens. While there is little to do to completely prevent it, these basic precautions will lower the chances significantly.

How to Fix a Cloned Cell Phone

The first action you should take if you feel that your phone has been cloned is to get a new SIM card. Whether your carrier is on the CDMA network (Sprint and Verizon) or the GSM (AT&T and T-Mobile) network, updating the SIM card number within the carriers system means the hacker can no longer use your phone number.

It isn’t likely that someone can clone a cell phone that is attached to an eSIM. This type of SIM card is hardwired into newer smartphone models like the Google Pixel models and the newest iPhones. The only drawback is not all carriers have converted to the eSIM technology.

You can always buy a new cellphone, but changing the SIM card should suffice. It’s important that you shred or dispose of your old SIM cards properly. The CDMA network SIM cards are reusable but only compatible with your phone’s IMEI number once activated.

GSM carriers allow you to swap your SIM card between any model of phone, but once a new SIM is activated on your phone number, the previous one is disabled. This means that if you activate a new sim card, the old one will no longer work.

Our Recommendation

How to Change Skin Color in PicsArt

Read Next 

30 thoughts on “How Cell Phones are Cloned and How To Stop it From Happening To You”

Emilia says:
hacker hire m ail hackerspytech on googlemail
Juniper says:
Hi, Juniper here. From guru i hired a HackerOne verified hacker helped me have access to my infidel Husband chats, calls, social media accounts remotely. I recommend a mail to hackerspytech on googlemail
Andrew Pelosi says:
Hey guys,
I was able to retrieve my psn gaming account after 2 months of being unable to login.
My account was stolen and i had a lot of funds and history on my account and couldnt just let it go,
So i decided to contact a hacker for help. I gave him my information and to my surprise he got back
my gaming account in 48 hours. I also gave him other jobs like hacking into my girlfriend phone to catch her cheating
and he always came through. contact (A C E T E A M H A C K E R S at G MAIL . C O M)
if you also need to hack into any gaming account.
hackersonline430 AT GMAIL COM says:
Hire the best in hacking and private investigation
Nick Barnes says:
Hire the best in hacking and private investigation
Michael says:
My phones been cloned then my Google account and now yahoo has been compromised. They made a series of accounts posing as me on kik. I don’t use kik at all. It’s emotionally triggering for me due to a past relationship. My fiance now believes I’m cheating on her. I am desperately trying to get rid of these accounts poping up n trying to prove to her its not me. I’ve had money stolen from me, all sorts of stuff. I don’t know what to do to show her it’s not me. Meanwhile this person is running amuk using my name on some app filled with extremely questionable sometimes dangerouse.
Monjay Degree says:
Serinty Davis stilling ppl information and giving it to hackers also using listening Devices 2002 Everitt st apt c3 Greensboro nc 27401 her number 336 932 7088
Nia says:
Monica, how do you know? My mom doing the Dane thing and I reported it but local authorities aren’t aware of what’s going on. It’s scary cause she knows all our conversations.
Bobbi says:
It happened to my neighbor. She pissed off the woman next door who apparently had the illegal scanner. She was checking her email one day and could hear her neighbor saying, “Oh no, ______, you don’t wanna read your electric bill!” Soon her email had been changed to Russian language and not even the “geniuses” at Apple can figure it out. She’s had 3 phones in 6 months. She moved last month, thought she was safe and BAM, they’ve got her new phone in a different neighborhood and a new account in another’s name. They max out her credit cards after she tells the banks to close the accounts. Now she doesn’t have a cell phone, a debit card, wifi, or anything else we’ve come to rely on in the 21st century. She points out to me on the public transportation the people in this woman’s circle. They do the thing where they try to scan your cards as you walk by. They’re staring at the black screen on their phones, waiting for you to walk past them. The people my friend talked to told her to put her cards in a Faraday pouch meant for car remotes. We have our doubts as to the Faradays in general as someone broke into my friend’s apartment and stole her Faraday box with her phone and all her cards inside. That’s it, just the Faraday. They would drain my friend’s EBT card every month. People suck.
Sharla in Shreveport says:
I have been cloned since 2016 because I was vulnerable around a group of “friends” in Austin, TX who still stalk me to this day. I am speaking with a guy in Digital Investigations who says they can monitor my phone and then hire an attorney who deals with cyberstalking to subpoena the companies they use to hide their IP addresses. I know who the people are but just need proof. Has anyone used a company like Digital Investigations before?
Yourgeniusdetective says:
you know, it can happen to anyone, including me.

I’ve been targeted since 2017 and how did I find out?

People started talking about my personal issue right after I talked to friends ON PHONE. They’re crazy a**hole. Been changing phone number and SIM card 4 times, didn’t work. They just keep digging. I ain’t having enough money and courage to track them down and get a redemption.

CraveAccess atgmailcom says:
Being scammed can be really depressing, being given empty promises. They usually just stop texting you back after achieving their aim which hurtd even more, i have been there so i know what i am talking about. If you need the service of a professional ethical hcker to remotely get access to your cheating spouses devices, kindly contact craveaccess @gmail,com. he literally saved me from doom. says:
The best hacker in the world to deliver a good work
Paul says:
It’s the “Bleep-Lets:, program they, the government program used for TV commercials during the Vietnam War time. Read up on this topic.
Joseph says:
My ex partner clond my phone and SIM altogether, as she hired a detective to help her doing that. I reseted my iphone for 7 times, the same story. I found out after many months or maybe 1 year, that my phone and SIM had been cloned. We lived together until I’ve figured out what happened and requesting my sons custody. Do anyone know what type of evidences are needed for the court?
Lisa says:
How did you find out that your phone was cloned says:
This can help hack your partners phone says:
The best hacker in the world
You tell me your a hacker says:
Cloud Wanker that’s nothing to be proud of the best self-proclaimed hacker in the world Unless you’re a hackedivest with Ethics. If you have used your skills to steel or benefit yourself your nothing but the world’s best pick pocketer thief. Actually a pick pocketer is on a higher level than hacker. Because a pick pocketer does it right under there victims nose. Unlike a hacker how has to hide on the other side of the world. And cover up there electronic foot prints so they cant be found.
Zabihullah says:
I want to activate my iPhone says:
The best hacker
Izzy says:
I’m about 70% sure my narcissistic abusive psychotic ex has cloned my phone (not sim) using Huawei cloning app. I have been struggling for over a week now tracking down the cause and what’s been going on my phone and accounts. Getting double notifications eg: email from Gmail and email from Google play store.

He linked himself to my accounts, has been downloading my data, photos everything. Messing with my apps, putting locations on, deactivating security apps and all. He has made threats to take my son and is involved with dangerous unstable people.

I can’t afford a new phone, and I’m in the middle of gathering evidence for court.

How do I get free and rid of him connected to my phone and accounts.

1fnguy says:
I’ve been getting hacked now for a year. I’ve been documenting what I find..the apps that are installed are easy to spot..usually has a bogus name like cingular, and many of them..I cant take them off my phone or disable them but I can slow them down…I’m sick of being spied on and she needs therapy to fix her condition
cyberapphack on gmail says:
He’s the best with hacking cheating spouses
Ifunanya says:
My phone has been clone by my man what do I do
Mikey says:
You most likely you’ll need a New sim and and/or both new phone and sim card. Its the only way to break free. The real true test and Issue will be preventing it from happening again I’ve been dealing with this for 3 years and over the last few months did process of eliminations which started with laptop #1 ended on laptop #3 and phone #2. They managed to break 2 of my laptops and 1 phone and were still getting into all my accounts my messages everything I made new accounts for everything on the last computer and only my phone number was the same on everything and they were being hacked yet again on a brand new computer and stopped going after the Same old ones they had been for 2 years straight no matter what i did how many times i factory reset they would get right back in immediately and resulted in getting right into my new ones which then told me all the answers i needed know ive suspected it 2 years ago an knew but you dont realy know until you acutely know for sure. Keep your devices secure and DO Not leave them lying around around anywhere these people resulted in drugging me a few times to get in after I locked them out completely not once but twice in one day 2 days ago acutely. Be careful be aware and do research do a complete process of elimination and most of all preventative measures. Good luck.
Proxyphreak47 Via Gmail says:
Do you need concrete cheating proof without physical access to your spouse or partner’s phone? Write to him now
acephanthom on gmail says:
Reach out to get proof infidelity.
Wyvernchuck on gmailcom says:
He can help you
tyler says:
help me
W I L L I A M S D H A CKGHOST @ Gee-Mail says:
Need help on how to catch and track a cheating spouse? Who can help? Above can
Cindy Maiorka says:
Who can I talk to about my cell being clonned this girl bought a keylogger maybe it’s called that she gets blank sim cards and makes 2 or more of my number she sold some over seas so they call for free or on my some my now x husband told all before I kicked him out..
My x husband wife is in this deep she had someone kill my ropen horse she had these people set me up BUT that just got proven 10k later now they harrass me with drones..I don’t leave my ranch I’m up through the night cking all my horse’s.
I need some help please
Ohnonotme says:
My phone has cloned messages being rerouted how do I stop it without getting a new phone
Julia N Contreras says:
Michelle says:
mel says:
did you figure everything out? i need help, this is happening to me.
locked n loaded says:
Funny she said people are dying bc of phones being cloned. They probably are dying bc the person who got their phone cloned tracked down the pieces of shit and shot them between the eyes!that would be a sight!
vinballzz says:
Agreed. Dealing with same situation.
Arlene White says:
My son in laws has been cloned and his service provider won’t help us to figure out who cloned it and how to fix it and FCC wasn’t much help either
Just another person who's learned a lot says:
Look into sadistic stalking, Patricia.
Me says:
HOME ADVISOR USES PHONE CLONING to give leads to their paying contractors. How else would they get a guaranteed list of customers. It is happening to my stump grinding business. they are rerouting my calls and listening in on the ones that get through to give my customers names to home advisor paying contractors. i am not a home advisor contractor and my customers are not using home advisor to find a contractor, but some how my customers are having other stump grinders show up to do the work. DO not use home advisor!!!!
Nikhil Dhariya says:
Wow,That’s very informative.I’m glad that I came across this article.I have heard about cloning but did not know what it is .Very informative .Got to know many things. Need to check my location to make sure that there is no cloning .Thank you so much.
Ellen Flatt says:
My husband did this so he could tell where I was. He needed to know my whereabouts because he was cheating and didn’t want to get caught.
Tracy James Givens says:
I hope you got yourself a new husband or at least got rid of the one you have

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Robert Hayes

Oct 15, 2020

Robert is a freelance editor and writer living in Colorado.

132 Articles Published