How to Know If Your Cell Phone Has Been Cloned

By Kurt Schanaman

Cellular phone security has come a long way since the days when the old analog networks were in place. Cellular fraud became a serious problem which occurred at a rather high rate. Although today's modern digital networks and cell handset manufacturers have taken extraordinary steps toward making cell phone fraud more difficult, there are some ill-intentioned individuals who continue to find ways to circumvent even the highest state of modern technology. Cell phone cloning is one of the most notorious methods of cell phone fraud, and the customer must monitor cellular usage on a regular basis. Thankfully, cellular providers keep excellent records of all numbers called from your handset on a monthly basis.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Internet connection
  • Monthly cellular billing statement

Step 1

Use a computer connected to the Internet and visit your cellular provider's website. Sign up for your provider's online account management system so you can have immediate access to your billing and use information, even before your paper bill arrives by mail.

Step 2

Take special note of any times where you may be unable to use your phone. Since a cloned cell phone appears identical to yours, you may discover that you are given messages stating that the mobile number is already in use, or you may find that you are unable to initiate or receive calls while the clone is being used by the perpetrator.

Step 3

Record the times, dates and frequency of these "cell usage blackouts" you may be experiencing and, if they are occurring for long durations and repeatedly throughout each day, contact your cellular provider with your concerns that you feel your phone may have been cloned.

Step 4

Cooperate with your cellular provider if asked for your permission for the company to initiate a detailed audit of your cell usage. The company will send you a highly detailed list of phone calls sent or received on your account over the month, and your provider will most likely ask that you highlight all numbers, dates and times which you are unfamiliar with.

Tips & Warnings

  • A perpetrator who has cloned your cell phone can cause significant damage to your cellular account, incurring enormous fees by making international calls, pay-per-call services and other assorted activities. Notify your cellular provider of your suspicions as soon as you notice strange activity when attempting to use your cell phone, especially if it occurs regularly.