Did you get a call from a strange phone number recently? Are you getting extremely high phone bill that doesn't match your usage? Are you getting calls from people you don't know, accusing you of making obscene calls? Are you worried the caller might have cloned your sim and used your phone number? You have a reason to worry, what your instincts tell you might be true.

Cellular fraud is becoming a serious problem these days. Although cellphone manufacturers and telephone service providers have taken the necessary steps to ensure that the consumer's information is protected, scammers have found a way work around these safety measures. Just recently, reports on sim card cloning racked government agencies and several have fallen victims to this scheme. The mobile phone industry has already lost millions of dollars in revenue because of scammers have found a way to clone sim card data.

Sim card cloning is a tactic where a secured data stored in sim card is copied into another sim card. When the "cloned" card is used in another mobile phone and activated, the "cloned" sim card can also make and receive calls intended for the phone number. However, only the subscriber is billed for the calls. Unfortunately, telephone service providers don't have a way to differentiate between the original sim and the "cloned" one. Be warned that after cloning the sim card, the scammers can then make calls, read text messages and see phone book entries.

Unfortunately, there is no way for anyone to detect whether a sim card is cloned or not. So before you become a victim, here are some points to help you:

  • Check your monthly phone bill regularly

  • Check the call records. Logs of incoming and outgoing calls are recorded on your account. If you see unfamiliar phone numbers, verify if they were legitimate.

  • Watch out for suspicious patterns on your mobile phone usage. If you are unable to check voice mail, get calls saying you called them or encounter problems when making calls.

  • Call your telephone service provider if you find suspicious calls or texts posted on your bill.

  • If you're in doubt, set up a PIN code for outgoing calls. The Better Business Bureau advises the use of a PIN code to reduce the chance of your SIM card being cloned.

If you suspect that you are a victim of sim card cloning, notify the telephone service provider and have them investigate.
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