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How to Tell if Your Phone Has Been Cloned

by on March 30, 2020
in Tips & How-Tos, Phones and Mobile, Privacy :: 146 comments

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Our phones are the key to our digital identity, so it’s no wonder that mobiles have become increasingly attractive targets for cybercriminals, who have at their disposal a fair number of ways to hack a smartphone, some of which require more access and technical savvy than others.

Phone cloning – or the copying of the identification credentials a phone uses to connect to cellular networks – is one method that usually requires the perpetrator to have direct access to a device.  That makes it less prevalent than, say, hacking an operating system vulnerability that hasn’t been updated, but the consequences are equal to that of most phone hacks – your personal data is exposed, with potential financial consequences or identity fraud.

What is phone cloning?

It’s worth distinguishing between “cloning” a phone’s data – which spy apps semi-legally offer as a way to spy on the photos, texts and calls of another device – and totally illegal phone cloning, which refers to the copying of a phone’s complete cellular identity and using it in another device.

In cloning a phone’s cellular identity, a criminal would steal the IMEI number (the unique identifier for every mobile device) from the SIM cards, or the ESN or MEID serial numbers. These identifying numbers are then used to reprogram phones or SIM cards with the stolen phone number.          

Then there’s also the emerging threat of SIM hijacking, where hackers who have access to stolen phone numbers call up carriers and impersonate account holders to get a new SIM the hacker controls. This method, which relies on social engineering tactics to find out personal information that carriers use to authenticate customer accounts, differs from the highly technical method for SIM (or phone) cloning, but the end result is the same – to gain control over someone’s phone service.

Once the perpetrator has control of the phone line, they can send messages and make calls that appear to be from that phone number, with the bill footed by the victim. If a cloned phone and the original are near the same broadcast tower, it could even allow the perp to listen in on any calls made by the victim – though that’s probably not the main driver for phone cloning.

The bigger danger is that text messages and calls intended for the rightful owner of the line can also be intercepted – including two-factor authentication codes that allow snoops to get access to critical accounts like email, social media and even banking. (The vulnerability of text messages is one reason why experts recommend other methods of two-factor authentication.)

Phone cloners might also target political figures for surveillance: in February this year, South African state security ministers were reported to have had their cellphones cloned, the crime was detected when several people reported receiving text messages from a minister who hadn’t sent them.

Or, cloned phones might be used to generate revenue, sold to people who aren’t aware they’ve purchased a fraudulent handset with stolen credentials.

How phones get cloned

Most phones have SIM cards whose IMEI numbers are protected by secret codes that prevent over-the-air interception. But if someone is able to remove the SIM card and place it in a SIM reader for a few minutes, they can copy all its identifying credentials to load onto a blank SIM. (This technically includes anyone who might get time alone with your device – but as with phone spying, you’re likely to have an inkling if there’s anyone who might want to do such a thing.)

Researchers have also found a vulnerability in the existing protocol that is used for over-the-air carrier updates. Though rarely used, this flaw could in theory allow hackers to remotely clone a SIM.

Some older phones are more vulnerable to remote attacks. Those running on 2G or 3G CDMA frequencies, which are used only by the Sprint and US Cellular networks (Verizon retired its CDMA network at the end of 2019), broadcast to the operator in a way that would allow special equipment – like a femtocell – to eavesdrop on the connection and intercept handset ESN or MEID serials.

That means older CDMA phones, such as flip phones or 3G-only regular and smartphones, that are locked to either Sprint or US Cellular may be at a slightly elevated risk of remote phone cloning. All that said, however, phone cloning is not as common as it was in the early days of mobile phone use, when the radio frequencies in use were much easier to eavesdrop on.

6 Signs that your phone might have been cloned

If you think your phone might have been cloned, check for these signs which can indicate someone else is using your cellular service, such as:

1. Receiving an unexpected text requesting you to restart your device

This may be the first sign that your phone or SIM has been compromised – restarting your device gives the attacker a window in which your device is off and they can load their phone with your cloned credentials.

2. Calls or texts on your cellphone bill that you don’t recognize

Any outgoing texts and calls made on the cloned device will seem to be coming from your phone number – and land on your bill. Even if you don’t have an itemized bill, international calls will show up here, so keep an eye on your monthly payments and double-check when you pay more than usual.

3. You stop receiving calls and texts

If someone else has control of your phone number, calls and SMSes may be diverted to their cloned device, or your cellular connection stopped entirely. Check this by having a friend or your partner call you to see if the call rings and if it comes through to your phone.

4. You see your device in a different location on Find My Phone

Logging into Find My iPhone or Google’s Find My Device can be a way to check on the integrity of your SIM. If your phone’s on your desk, but on the map appears to be somewhere else, someone else may be using your cell service. (Chances are, phone hackers would disable this setting, however.)

5. You get a message from your carrier saying your SIM has been updated

If your credentials have been activated on a new device, your network provider will probably send a message confirming your details have been updated – a major red flag if you haven’t done anything. This can also be the point at which you find your device no longer has cellular service. 

6. You’re mysteriously locked out of your accounts

You might even find someone has commandeered your email accounts and social media handles – as in a spat of Instagram hacks based on stolen phone numbers (in these cases, however, the SIMs were hijacked by attackers who had gleaned enough personal information online to fool carriers into switching over the SIM cards). Either way, someone having control over your phone service means they can do things like trigger a forgotten password, receive a two-factor authentication code to the phone number they now have access to, then change the password and access any account they know your login name for.

If the worst has happened and your phone has been cloned, you need to call your cellular provider. They should be able to detect and block the cloned device, because each handset has a unique radio fingerprint independent of that serial number that originally belonged to you.

Can you prevent phone cloning?

You can help protect your phone from this type of cloning by observing the same cybersecurity practices that keeps your online life safe:

  • Check that carrier texts are coming from legitimate numbers – for example, do they show up in the same message thread as previous carrier texts?
  • Train a skeptical eye on any text that requests you do something – are they worded in the way you would expect? What do Google search results have to say about the sender’s number?
  • Finally, treat your phone’s IMEI, ESN or MEID number like any other password - never send it to anyone or give it to any website you don’t trust.

Cloning isn’t the only way your phone can be compromised. If you have concerns about the security of your device, read our story on how to tell if your phone has been hacked.

[Image credit: phone hacking concept via BigStockPhoto]

Natasha Stokes has been a technology writer for more than 7 years covering consumer tech issues, digital privacy and cybersecurity. As the features editor at TOP10VPN, she covered online censorship and surveillance that impact the lives of people around the world. Her work has also appeared on BBC Worldwide, CNN, Time and Travel+Leisure.

Discussion loading

Can anybody Suggest what to

From R hard on February 19, 2021 :: 7:23 pm

Can anybody Suggest what to do to fix the issue of a clone phone.


Mine flashes, I've joined git

From S. R. C on April 30, 2021 :: 2:33 am

Mine flashes, I’ve joined git hub. Omg,I have been hacked in a big way.  I advice all to join or join something similar. As for the reply about it happens on your phone etc etc
Follow your gutt & investigate it.  That. I’ve been experiencing cyber abuse for a long time. Don’t be a victim. Good luck everyone


Holy fucking shit.

From Wow on May 29, 2021 :: 4:20 pm

Holy fucking christ. Either all you guys are off your meds or you are all snorting like 80 grams of meth a day. Hahahahaha!!!!! You guys need some serious help, immediately. Check into rehab and lay off the crosstops of meth and the halucinagenics. Some things you just Cant unhear….. wow!


Phone was cloned three times in one month.

From Rose on June 16, 2021 :: 10:52 pm

A phone number I had for a decade was taken over by someone named Mohammed. I know because I was locked out, and when I managed to get in, my phone said, “Welcome, Mohammed.” Shortly after I changed my number, it appeared six times on the dark web. One of the people listed who was associated with this ended up putting the phone in his name. The phone company still believes I owe 3 months on a phone that is in his name. I changed my phone number again and at least one person has it. All I get lately are first names.

People who say this article is fascinating and cool should be aware that the fact that you react with wonder and awe is the reason nobody believes us. The advice to ask your mobile carrier for a new SIM number and tell them what’s happening? They never offered one, and mobile phone companies do not train their employees that this happens.

My phone is with Comcast Wireless, but my phone says I’m on Sprint, because my hacker is on Sprint. I have his IP address and not my own most of the time, and I can’t Google “near me” because I get a random state. I’ve also changed email accounts over ten times in 2 months. And finally an article tells me to set them up on someone else’s computer. I am tired of changing my phone number and email every week. I can’t bear to try another method.

Cool? No. Fascinating? No, not when it happens to you.


I know I'm got cloned can I know by who

From Melissa Hunt on June 20, 2021 :: 3:35 pm

Need to know by who


Constantly have a commentary on everything

From Jocelyn on August 11, 2021 :: 9:30 am

Same shit different day! All of it i had suspicions about.  All makes sense. So much scaming and everything is FUCKING BULLSHIT! all lies and the people you trust turn on you and are revealed as you always thought they were. Its ridiculous how much people will use you for your money and throw you in the trash. And its so obvious that they never have done “ANYTHING NEGITIVE"or to be “AGAINST YOU” and no matter what those colors show through. And in the end it fucking kills you.. because you trusted them and even though you knew something was up you made your self believe they were there for you. And they were doing the worst to you and not giving any regard to how it would effect your mental state of mind. So nice of them and so long they have lied and been so shady about allot. Its the worst shit you can do to an already broken person. So yes thanks to all of you that have participated in such a fucking horrible,nasty and unhuman thing!


Not sure if you'll read

From Amanda M Lucak on August 12, 2021 :: 3:01 pm

Not sure if you’ll read this, I found your site helpful. We currently have a cloned phone/sim card. We unfortunately live in a nation where cybercrime is not a thing, yay for Canada, lets jot down your information for our records but not do anything. Our security was hacked and our isp as well as our security contacts refuse to help us. My question is, how do you go about removing a serious type of attack like this? Do we replace cell phone as well as sim card?


Cloned or hijacked?

From Josh Kirschner on August 13, 2021 :: 9:23 am

The process of cloning vs hijacking a SIM card is different (as we discuss above), and impacts how you need to protect yourself going forward. More information about why/how you think your phone is cloned would be helpful for understanding the issue.

However, the immediate action is the same in either case - contact your cellphone carrier and have them address the issue with the unauthorized SIM card. This will likely mean simply issuing you a new SIM and your carrier should be willing to do that (for a small cost).

There shouldn’t be any reason to replace your phone. Even if an attacker has your IMEI (the unique phone identifier) there’s not much they could do with it (beyond, potentially, basic location tracking). It’s the SIM card that’s the issue.


I made a mistake

From john curtin on August 19, 2021 :: 10:06 am

I had a missed call from a mobile number for the 3rd time. I rang the number and it just beeped.  I hung up.  Next thing was a text message appeared with 3 lines of text the last of which was my IMEI number .  That text then disappeared.

I did google search the tel number and the only entry was

Facebook App 087758

0877584655 | 0877584654 | 0877584657 | ... buy the lаtеѕt smartphone whеn уоu have a роwеrful computer, your own secretary, аnd still uѕе Post-It notes?

What kind trouble am I after letting myself in for ?

Thank you.




From Mary Kay on August 24, 2021 :: 6:57 pm

I have Not had Control of Any Phone hence Verizon added a Phone to my plan ??  Family sharing My Name IPHONE8, my name Ipad, THISIPHONE8, titled like that added..I call and am told it was a new phone issued to me, ?? I was talking on my New phone, 6 Phones later, I now have a Public IP address, My Remote is Radio Frequency ??  By Direct TV???  I dial local numbers with a plus 1,


Everything I've got has been cloned

From Tammy Findley on August 30, 2021 :: 9:29 pm

My internet ,my phone my computer , my tv. This has been going on almost a year.and there making my life miserable. They watch me 24 7 when I leave someone follows me .at nite after midnight they mess with my door my windows up in the attic. They have to know what I’m doing always I can’t take a shower or get dressed without them watching. The walls are very thin and they are making holes in the walls. And tonight went to the bathroom with the lights low and I could see one thru the mirror with a camera. I’m getting really scared


Sim Card Lock

From Sally King on September 28, 2021 :: 10:07 am


I have been having issues with my phone for over 6 months and actually bought a new phone. A certain family member seemed t be aware of things I said or texted privately. When I blocked that person apps started calling off their device. I also had 1300 files uploading from my phone at 4am and had items as Alicia logs Buddy logs, etc. and something saying running as root. I added a pin to my SIM card and the phone sim loved. I scheduled a sleep alar at a certain time on Wi-Fi and the alarm would go off on his Phone. When I tried to power up his phone my phone locked up. I changed alarm schedule with sim still locked to 615 and his phones alarm went off as my phone was dead with the same ringtone I had. To my knowledge, Apple and my phone carrier confirmed determined these phones are not synced. Any assistance would be appreciated.


Android phone craziness possibly cloned triggers my ptsd and anxiety

From Candi Leal on September 30, 2021 :: 8:07 pm

This may sound crazy but it started in 2018. Ever so often I experience all signs of cloning or stalker. As soon as I call carrier or goes to 1800 instead of 611 it acts better. My apps ex. Fb google go to 2011 or computer chromecast google nest. I have just this phone that delays in txts changes voicemail to spanish and restarts to create different passcode. Crazy… My parents say did you change to spanish, why… When receice call its in green box at top the mute button pushed, nearbyshare also on front of phone. But shows off in settings. I have 2 apps for fb bluetooth sim tool wifi hot. Eifihot wont all…. My carrier at store knows me well. Haha..How can you get same agent that helps you by calling 611 but switches to 1866 #. My privacy is all I have left. I was a teacher and became disable. Please help…


Help om locked out of everything

From April gulotta on October 19, 2021 :: 1:05 pm

My passwords kept changing. My devices were showing up on my internet that i hadnt used in 2 yrs let alone on my wifi along with my old phones. Then all of a sudden my phone was shutting off and re starting.then i couldnt use my emails at live anymore bc my roommate said use a different login. Unbenunced to me i was now just the user a d not the admin of my own stuff. Then she talked me into taking off mccaffe bc it slowed the laptop down. Well all of my flash drives came up missing but the came back but were deleted. My old sim and sd cards were missing but came back then i found that all my new and old phones has the exact things as the rest of them. Then i found all my papers birth certificates home owner stuff and pictures and card were moved and. Copied. Then on my google account there was like 3 of my same phone on there. So the ones that were not mine i erased. Then i found this dynex paper which showes how tocopy ur os and reput it on others devices. So now im calling the authorites to report this


How can I deal with this the FBI won't metroo police won't isn't someone going to deal with this

From Thomas Uhlmer on October 28, 2021 :: 6:02 am

I’ve been dealing with a cyberbully for over a year law enforcement won’t help 1st he stole my identity and now he just wants to ruin everything I try to do.I know his name where he works and given this info to the
  FBI the FTC and LVMPD TO NO AVAILTHEY SAID THERES TO MUCH to many too chase and arrest what can a person do?


Why does it require so much info If you are cloned and you can't even file your taxes at the library

From Thomas Uhlmer on October 28, 2021 :: 6:18 am

I don’t have a IRS problem I have a identity theft morphed into brutal b cyber bullying it doesn’t matter what it is he’s there to foul it up,He steals my emails my messages changes my words to make me a fool and never ending cc and bank charges banks encourage one banking but its useless to Identify theft victims who also have cloned phones I have had 14 phones and email address and no one FBI, FTC,LVMPD DOES ANYTHING


point it's been going on

From Lyn on November 05, 2021 :: 12:59 pm

point it’s been going on for over 5 years and I don’t know what to do since my provider can’t seem to give me any answers. At times it’s extremely Scarry, but it’s always confusing and depressing not understanding why. I’m broke, broken and sometimes wonder if I’ll ever know why they’re intentionally trying to bother my psyche and life.


Phone cloned. Or something.

From Lovie on November 10, 2021 :: 8:48 pm

I have a stalker who has access to everything. I write something in my blog, etc and sometimes words change or added. I can’t stop him at this time, but how can I find out for certain, to have proof, that something’s going on with my phone? I also notice storage is too high, but I cannot find any unknown software.


Being stalked thru cloned cell phone

From Elizabeth on November 20, 2021 :: 6:51 pm

This has been happening to me too, 7 long miserable years. The police refuse to help me. I believe the gang that victimizes me has a fake police group that deals with the victims. I have not gotten help from them ever. Here it is about control and GREED. They are trying to force me to kill myself. Several women already did. No one will even listen. I have bought several cell phones. All have been cloned and later stolen. They have stolen my life. A gang of narcissists. It’s unbearable.


Wow are U kidding me

From Venus on December 02, 2021 :: 6:18 pm

I feel the need to address this thread & article.

I was CATPHISHED via FB & Subsequently Everyone was cloned On my list!
Via someone waiting on fb requesting to friend me for 9 mths.
He claimed to be a Soldier In the armed forces on a peace mission in Yemen.
Being a pretty smart cookie I immediately noticed that his last check in was Tanzania.
All PPl On the friend’s list we’re of a different nationality than he claimed to be.
I told him he needed to voice verify long story short once I finally spoke to him I could detect by his accent that he wasn’t telling the truth by then He had me accept a phone call through G voice and I believe he cloned my phone.
By then it was kind of too late I started telling people that I converse with please change your PW well one gentleman came back to me and said I can’t it’s already been changed.
I proceeded to contact him by phone I have access to databases a lot of people don’t.
I’m an investigative reporter . With a background as a parallegal.
As well as an intuitive.
So I’ve been at chat I completely abandoned that profile and started a new one within several hours I had friended only females.
Within a 6 hour. People started asking the phone asking the friend me by the hundreds it’s the guy was Is s S TAL KING t me he actually told me I’ll find you!
Because I know of all kinds of tricks that most people don’t on how to do a search I discovered that the phone number he used is attached to major groups of people on FB hundreds and hundreds of people people in checking my common friends with people the numbers didn’t add up so I proceeded to start telling people of what was happening half of them have blocked me now or or have changed their profile Or put me on ignore.
The actual group I’ve been in half of them believe me or some of them believe me and the rest of them think I’ve lost my mind!
I mean what’s a girl to do in this day in age they lyre PPL to G voice at or WhatsApp which is a backdoor to FB Lucky for me I have so many emails that people cannot figure it out and I don’t keep my banking on my phone however previous previously to that someone was able to get into my unemployment account and take me for 20020 1000 which isn’t a place that we pay into all our lives eggs and if our government switches it with a stimulus then to be a prisoner in our own home so be it No one else is entitled to it that’s gonna take me a while to get that money back but that’s not relevant what’s relevant to me is how crazy this thread sounds I thought I was losing My mind until I read this I don’t know what to think there is no solution I’ve called I mean these people are saying one guy said is daughter sold him to some people for $20 worth of drugs and the other daughter killed herself wtf!?
So there’s I see no solution I thought I could factory reset that would be the solution no apparently in the article it says oh don’t factory reset that’s when it gives them a time they’ve already cloned the freaking number what difference does it make isn’t that gonna fix the problem?
If I change my PW on FB which I separate my messenger tinder and end the FB app.
Nevertheless it’s disturbing!
I already know in this virtual world that we live in there are many places we can be spied on it’s example Is the 3 letter acronym that approves our electronics in this country Country there’s a toggle switch and and the only way you can actually turn the device off like your screen for your TV is your TV is to unplug it disturbing no it gets worse there’s the a I’s and anything that has a listening or microphone can listen in on your conversation also your smartphone which is only as smart as the user.
Has the ability to listen in via a fake app.
I’ve seen it in documentaries and astrology app whatever anything they use whatever they even do click even um duplicate apps.
The big G said there were thousands of apps that they found that we’re clones or fake apps so what do we do in this instance that people are saying on in the thread that they’ve contacted the local authorities and they won’t do anything about it what the hell is going on? What are you do I just got a brand new phone I can’t get rid of my phone number II and I in fact let it be turned off for a while cause I was so pissed off.
Maybe I will just change the number and get a new SIM card I don’t know what and factory reset is that the solution?





From Sun Whitworth on December 15, 2021 :: 12:01 am

I have been getting calls and texts saying I called people at times when I have been asleep or not around my phone. Today I have made 0 calls and have gotten messages I had called someone 10 times. Another message threatening to hunt me down and f,,,,me up if I’m not a lending company


Spoofing, not cloning

From Josh Kirschner on December 23, 2021 :: 10:46 am

It sounds like someone is spoofing your phone number to make illegal telemarketing calls/scams. This, unfortunately, is pretty common (it’s happened to me, too) and there’s nothing you can do about it. You’ll just have to inform the irate callers that you didn’t call them and your number was spoofed. Fortunately, these issues should be reduced this year as STIR/SHAKEN is implemented across phone carriers.


Free service

From Me on January 26, 2022 :: 9:42 am

Service ended January 19, yet I still have service. I’m sure there’s a logical explanation?


I'm pretty sure my phone is either hacked or data has been hacked

From Moonlight on February 13, 2022 :: 9:24 pm

Since my phone has been in for repair. I have had non stop problems of getting locked out of my accounts. Amazon being one of them I have been blocked out from Amazon due to suspicious activity. I have also had emails from Amazon stating; “We believe that an unauthorized person has accessed your Amazon account and attempted to place an order. For your protection, we have canceled the order.”
I have also received text messages from my binance which is a cryto account asking me to verify my I.D one day and I ignored it and the next day I received another message stating that the I.D was not accepted.


Hmm...that's not good

From Josh Kirschner on February 14, 2022 :: 9:22 am

That doesn’t sound good. I suspect that this isn’t cloning but that whoever fixed your phone accessed your stored account passwords on the device. I don’t know what kind of repair they did, but did you unlock your device for them or give them your lockcode/pin?

I would immediately change all of your passwords and set up two-factor authentication for the critical ones (which you should have anyhow). And if there is a way to report these issues to whoever runs the repair place, I would consider it.


Is it cloning or hacking? Please help.

From Tembs on February 24, 2022 :: 6:03 am


My friend just messaged me on WhatsApp asking, why am I selling him cryptocurrency, when I didn’t.

Long story short, I asked him to send the said accounts number and it is mine. The profile has my DP on it, my name and my number, but it’s not me.



Phone abuse

From Debbie on April 03, 2022 :: 2:08 pm

Someone has been using my number for several years. I don’t get most texts. He is in all my social media accounts. Makes illegal tech products. He is insane. His name is Blake. I can’t get rid of him. He has a pitiful wife. Any suggestions?


cloned IPhone

From Pat on April 22, 2022 :: 2:24 pm

Experian sent me a message that my phone number was located on the dark web. I receive text msgs on my phone regarding porn, etc. I do not open these messages, just delete them. I’m wondering if the cloned phone can see my text messages, emails, contacts, etc. on my phone, and how can I protect my phone? Do I need to change my phone number?


Something weird

From Marco on May 08, 2022 :: 4:54 am

My wife iş receiving calls from her own number, which iş a common fraud trick here in Brazil. The weird thing iş that her number calling appears to her with the name İ gave it and under which I registered it in my contact list,a very peculiar öne with emoticons in it, no one could imagine. One would only know by accessing the contact list of my phone or my account in apps exhibiting those names (eg whatsappweb, maybe signal…)


Just read one comment

From Andrea morris on May 29, 2022 :: 12:22 pm

For the last 7 years I’ve been followed and watched by security camera and my face is all over Britain. My life is being followed and waiting for my next move in life. These people have push me to losing my kids and taking my own life 7 times. I’ve been to hospitals police stations and no one tells me I wonder y when they are paid off by the dark side, I don’t sell drugs I don’t sell I’m not a grasser murderer pedo but these people make me out to be the lowest of the low. Where they have taken of me all my life from money to dignty pi eve the are using a phone that has been cloned my life hacked and the people that have done the rapes and pushed me to drink more have been recording me in my home and outside. I can’t just up and g


Taken over

From A friend of a friend on May 30, 2022 :: 5:26 pm

Ok….my friend has her phone cloaned….pretty positive!  He has taken over her phone, Google acct, recording her thru her apps, he has been stealing from her, her elderly father, and now I need to know what to do to help her take control of the situation!  You can’t call her phone or send any sort of notifications b/c he gets it also!  She is a strait talk subscriber!!!!!  So, this is NOT her info, it’s her friends!!!


What's happening here

From Tonya on June 14, 2022 :: 2:16 pm

My phone number is the only number on my ex boyfriends call logs but he never calls me. What is going on here and what do I do about it? Is someone else using my number like his new girlfriend?


Need info

From Mark overpeck on June 17, 2022 :: 3:56 pm

Need to know who is cloning because need to put to stop. Keep getting away with it ! How to figure out. Tryin to scam me


iPhone disabled and cloned

From GabrielaS on July 13, 2022 :: 6:10 am

I am pretty sure my iPhone was cloned, too. My iPhone was disabled one year ago with no reason, I had to download the software from the apple website again. I have had many signs that this happened. My assumption is that apple (the guy there) knew about it. Besides, I got the message below several times, as if I left and got into the country: “Die Bundesregierung: Willkommen/Welcome! Bitte beachten Sie die Test-/Quarantäneregeln; please follow the rules on tests/quarantine”


That's a normal message to receive in Germany

From Josh Kirschner on July 19, 2022 :: 10:26 am

I’m assuming you’re getting that text message when you enter Germany. That is a standard alert from the German government about Coronavirus restrictions that all (most/many) travelers receive. It is not a sign of cloning or any type of hacking.


“as if”

From GabrielaS on August 04, 2022 :: 8:09 am

I got that message several times, AS IF I had left and got into the country.”

Except I did not leave and enter the country.



From GabrielaS on August 04, 2022 :: 8:16 am

Some times, I tried dialling a number saved in my agenda, but it wouldn’t call, no reaction from my phone, tough I had coverage.

Other times, I would call someone several times, but they had only one missed call. Or I would call just once but they got several calls.

I would also hear echoes and other sounds like the beep one, as if some device was trying to intercept my calls.

Several times, I got calls back from people saying I had called them, which was not the case. They either was making it up or someone else did it with my number.
Lots of weird stuff…


Phone spoofing, not cloning is behind the callbacks

From Josh Kirschner on August 04, 2022 :: 5:03 pm

Spam callers will often spoof real phone numbers to make their calls seem less suspicious. So if someone calls you back saying they received a call from your number, that is likely the cause. It happens occasionally to me and other Techlicious folks, too. There’s no way to stop it, we just need the phone carriers to fully implement STIR/SHAKEN to stop this type of spoofing.


From James on July 23, 2022 :: 9:46 am

My coworkers have tried to call me and at times they would get someone else. I restarted my phone every time it haven’t. I have an unlimited plan so I never felt the need to check my records. Side question I was trying to switch carriers and they us my IMEI number as my account number, but the number wasn’t the one for my phone. What’s going on there?


I'm surprised that your carrier

From Josh Kirschner on July 25, 2022 :: 8:40 am

I’m surprised that your carrier would be using an IMEI as your account number. The IMEI is unique to each device, so every time you get a new phone it will have a new IMEI. So if this isn’t the same phone you had when you started the service, that would explain why they are different.

As far as your coworkers getting someone else, my first thought is always that they simply have the wrong number listed. But if it really is happening, perhaps (just speculating here) you turned your old device back into your carrier and they re-issued it to someone else. And if it is one of those really cheap carriers that tries to save money by forcing calls onto Wi-Fi when available, perhaps their operating system uses the IMEI to route calls to the device when on Wi-Fi and their records still have your number associated with your old IMEI.

I would be curious what the answer is here if you find out.


6th time today

From Andy m on September 22, 2022 :: 2:24 pm

Over the past few months, my huawei honor 10 has been playing up, freezing on various apps and either restarting itself, or me having to hold down the power button. On 6 different occasions over this timeframe, there have been numerous apps appearing, for instance phone clone, age of assassins, spiderman, various games, Facebook and insta, (none of which which i use). Also an unfamiliar light blue browser app. I uninstall them, run various security checks, I have changed my phone number, all my passwords several times. I have been running find my device, and on one occasion I sawa PC in China connected which I immediately kicked out. It appears that someone has acquired my imei number or something. Time for a new phone and sim!


My email will be good for however long it's allowed to be it'll be my I don't know I'm on like my 11

From Talitha Meyers on October 15, 2022 :: 4:37 pm

I know exactly who did mine and I’m just now finding out since July of doing all this by myself I’m not an engineer but I have righteously lost everything because I no longer have a 501c3 rescue it’s been Depot along with grants I no longer have because of b******* thrown out statements that I supposedly said or whatever because I said that my phone was hacked and the officers here didn’t want to believe me so they stick me in the psych ward I’ve got all the evidence in the world as Google tells me the two step verification process is is so secure in this and that and there’s nothing they can do to get around and I said if you tell your developers that it is flawed and then somebody who is really a nobody has righteously jacked their s*** up then maybe I could get somewhere I have lost everything in the first account 13 years of my life I’ve spent two weeks out of the past month in a psych ward while they try to feel these delusions that I’m just crazy and not tell me that I’m diabetic and law enforcement refuses to do anything because we don’t have a Cyber attack department in our parish and I’m looking at them going it’s not for y’all anyways it’s freaking Federal and now I find this I have been saying for a couple of months I thought that my SIM card was cloned but nobody wanted to leave me somebody better believe me now because I righteously got a lot of people and have paid me back for a lot of s*** that I have lost my life like my car my home my animals my sanity my demeanor my functioning skills all shot because of f****** PTSD.. narcissist needs tech world yeah I’m that blood bag and I’m righteously depleted.. thank you for this page right here because it’s going to come in handy when I go to the law enforcement on Monday.  Hopefully nothing happens and somebody steal the car the rental car because last week what had happened was somebody borrowed my car and told her that so I never got a chance to take the restraining order in at the same time I didn’t have a car nor did I have a device because my device was shut down remotely Google find my device app and I was unable to call for a ride since my car was told and I missed the eviction hearing go figure it’s kind of funny how the guy that wrecked my car was all friendly at first until after the eviction hearing that I’m asked to remove to be removed from the property as he blocked me after saying that my steering went out on my car and it didn’t the tow company said it was fine my life has been in danger I’ve lost a baby and everything it freaking Google Verizon Motorola Microsoft and Facebook have failed while they confirmed that I have been compromised they failed to figure out how I think that’s a lot of lawsuits coming I’m so pissed right now I’d be surprised if this even goes through. If it doesn’t or if it does and I can’t be reached after the fact I live in living Livingston parish Louisiana.. they don’t know who I am here I’ve caused righteous scenes over this s***


Definitely Cloned

From Dave on October 26, 2022 :: 6:39 pm

I recently learned that my phone(s) have been cloned over a number of years.  Some guy named Travis who worked in either an ATT store or call center had been using my phones identity through each phone upgrade.  ATT help desk finally helped me and are pursuing this guy.  My weird text and odd phone call numbers have dropped significantly and I’ve already seen a pretty dramatic drop in my used data.


Illegal use of Expressvpn

From Charles Anderson on January 15, 2023 :: 8:35 pm

I have some unusual activity on my Galaxy A12 , and suspect cloning. Can my Expressvpn be used illegally on another person’s device, and how would I monitor such activity? I addressed this issue with ExpressVPN
Support, and the technician asked me
“What is cloning a phone?”
Am I just being too paranoid?
My wife and I recently had an identity theft issue, so I went to
Duckduckgo and ExpressVPN in an attempt at better security.
Thank you in advance for any assistance.


ExpressVPN requires a login

From Josh Kirschner on January 18, 2023 :: 12:17 pm

ExpressVPN requires that you log in with your credentials to use it. So, even if somehow your phone was cloned, it wouldn’t give anyone access to ExpressVPN or other apps.

That said, a Galaxy A12 is a pretty modern device and it’s very unlikely for it to be cloned. It’s possible someone acquired a cloned SIM for your account through your carrier or via direct access to your device. What is the “unusual activity” you are seeing?

FWIW, there are a number of ways you could have fallen victim to identity theft. Neither using Duckduckgo nor ExpressVPN will help mitigate the majority of those threats. In fact, Duckduckgo may make things worse by including phishing sites in results that Google may be more efficient at weeding out.


From Abruce on February 24, 2023 :: 8:13 pm

This message is for stony1 I read your comment and it seems that you have allowed far too much personal information fall into the hands of someone you trusted but now you feel like it’s about to completely destroy your entire life.
Please do not let this happen all it is is digital information on a cell phone and technically hearsay don’t let this person grind you down stand tall with pride in yourself and if anyone tries to talk about you tell them to prove any accusations they will not bother to look things up do everything you can to repair your relationship with your children and let people know this is the work of your malicious angry ex partner being spiteful please fight for your reputation karma will deal with everything else.


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