As technology advances, the tricks scammers use to get your personal data and money have also become more complex and corrupt. Hacking into computers has been a thing for decades, but what do you know about the process of cloning mobile phones?

What is Phone Cloning?

Phone cloning is when an exact replica of a mobile phone is created. This includes copying the international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) number. That means the phone’s identity is duplicated and put into another phone. Most times, phone cloning is created when you transfer old data from an old phone to a new one.

But, scammers have started to clone phones to access people’s personal information and steal from the victims.

How Does a Phone Cloning Scam Work?

Early on, it was thought your phone number was the way to access your important information. We receive text messages from banks, places where you make payments such as your car insurance or other businesses to verify your identity. The phone number can be ported to a different mobile device whereas the scammer now has gained access.

Scammers also can pretend to be the victim after stealing personal information from them and call their cell phone provider to gain access to their personal information. If the person from the cell phone company falls for a lie, the victim’s phone and personal information is sent over to a new device where the scammer can proceed with his fraudulent activities.

Another way for scammers to clone phones is to physically steal the victim’s SIM card out of their phone. The SIM card has a unique ID and stores the victim’s personal data. Once they have access to that, they can put the SIM card in another phone or device. This can lead to the scammer being able to access the victim’s financial information, medical records, investments, or anything they normally access daily that the scammer can make a profit from

How to Help Prevent Phone Cloning Scams

Limit the Personal Information You Share

Be extremely cautious when sharing any of your personal information online. If you are speaking to someone online about investments, money, or anything along those lines, research that person first and their company before sharing any of your sensitive personal information.

Also, be leery that if you are talking to someone who claims they are someone you are close to, reach out to that person directly to see if they are in fact who you are talking to. Scammers like to act like they are someone you are close to or know, so you freely tell them information about yourself because you trust them. Always question them before revealing any type of personal information.

Some people like to post their information on social media and pin drop or link their current location with pictures and addresses. You may not have realized that now someone who has had eyes on your profile has identifiable information they can use for identity theft.  Be very mindful of what you are posting and make sure none of your personal info is in any posts.

You should get in the habit of regularly checking the protection, privacy and security features on your phone and apps. The built-in security normally has updates that you should do every time you are asked. This is so you can continue to keep your information private and keep scammers from trying to access it.

Protect Your Accounts

Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for your cell phone. Most phones have facial recognition, which has become normal. But there is still the code to unlock your phone or thumb or fingerprint access as well. The more security, the better. If a scammer or a hacker gets a hold of your phone, if they do not have that information, they can be less likely to access your phone.

Change your passwords on the apps on your phone every couple of months. Sometimes scammers are just waiting for the right moment to attack, but without the password they are less likely to be able to access your information.

If you start noticing suspicious activity on your account, report it immediately.

Don’t Fall for Phishing Scams

In the event you receive text messages or emails from a company or someone wanting to help with your account or stating your account has been compromised, do not give them any of your information. They might be scammers trying to get you to let your guard down so that they can use your information fraudulently. Do not click on any links in emails, those links can have malware and other viruses to corrupt your smartphone.

Check the websites, email addresses, and phone numbers they are calling from to see if they are legit. It’s always best to go to the company or organization’s official website and contact them directly.

Monitor Your Personal Information

You can monitor your personal information – such as your name, address, email address, Social Security number, and more – with IdentityIQ identity theft protection. IdentityIQ identity and credit monitoring alerts you in real-time if there is possible suspicious activity involving your financial or personal information.


How can I reverse phone cloning?

Reversing a phone that has been cloned is a lengthy process. But it is possible. You need to call your mobile provider to tell them what has happened. Law enforcement should also be contacted, so a report of the fraud is documented

What is a port-out scam?

A port-out scam is when a scammer transfers a victim’s phone number to another phone provider. After the scammer accomplishes that, they can access authentication codes and other personal information that was on the phone to take the victim’s identity or access financial and other personal information. Having a strong personal identification number (PIN) can help stop the scammer from accessing the phone.

Bottom Line

Make sure that you are changing your passwords on your apps every couple of months, do not share your information online, and never access or click on emails or strange text messages that you do not know. Updating your privacy and security software is also a great way to stay protected.

Monitoring your identity and other personal information is essential. Using IdentityIQ identity theft protection services help you monitor your personal information, so you can be alerted for possible suspicious activity.