Here’s how to avoid being a victim of SIM card cloning

SIM card cloning
Smartphones, mobile data, internet connectivity, SIM card – all of these have become our daily drivers and keep things moving for each one of us, be it professionally or personally. We depend a lot on these services, but there are multiple threats out there in the real world which can hamper these services for us. Therefore, it is important that we are always alert.

Various forms of online frauds, phishing scams, viruses, and other malware activities have plagued electronic devices all this while, and if you are not careful, your SIM card could be next. SIM card cloning can make life very difficult for you, as well as for the people around you.

Let us look deeper into SIM card cloning.

What is SIM card cloning?

SIM card cloning is a technically sophisticated technology where the attacker makes a copy of the SIM card that you own by using software. To make a copy of your SIM card, the attacker can either get access to the card physically or send you an over the air mobile phone SMS that breaks the encryption key of the SIM card and makes a clone.

How will the SIM card cloning take place?

Once the attacker has successfully made a replica of your SIM card, they will insert the newly cloned SIM into the mobile phone which they have. Now, they will try to get in touch with you, over the phone.

You will probably receive seemingly harmless messages such as ‘restart your phone’, ‘keep your phone switched off for scheduled maintenance’ or something along similar lines. As soon as you switch your phone, they will initiate the cloning process and finally takeover the SIM card account that was registered in your name.

There are surveillance kits out there that can also aid attackers in cloning your SIM card, such as the app called SIMJacker. With apps such as these, the cloning attacks are invisible to the common eye since everything happens at the hardware level. The location data of your device can be tracked with it, as well as your phone’s IMEI number.

What happens when someone clones my SIM card?

While there are multiple ways to clone a SIM card, at the end, a successful cloning process will leave your mobile phone vulnerable. You can no longer make calls, receive SMS or MMS.

Instead, whatever calls and text messages which were initially intended for you will now be sent to the device into which the cloned SIM card was put inside. Therefore, the attacker can very easily use this data to manipulate you or your dear ones.

What are some signs that my SIM card has been cloned?

Here are a few simple yet visible changes that you can see on your SIM card, which can be a possible indicator of your SIM at the risk of being cloned –

1. You stop being able to make calls or send text messages through the default SMS app on your phone

2. There are unrecognized phone numbers in your mobile bill statement

3. You get messages from accounts posing as your SIM card provider, which are asking you to restart your phone 4. Mobile tracking services such as Google’s Find My Device or Find My iPhone start showing your phone is located at multiple locations

5. Your bank statement shows expenditures that you did not authorize

What to do if my SIM card has been cloned?

1. Contact your network service provider immediately and inform them

2. Change the password of your social media, financial accounts, or other sensitive account passwords

3. Check payments apps for suspicious activity

4. If there are any significant changes to your bank balance or accounts, connect with the respective people immediately so as to avoid any further losses

What move would it be a good idea for you to make assuming that you suspect being a casualty of SIM Swapping or Cloning?

● Promptly contact the specialist co-op right away, in the event that you observe that your portable number is latent or out of reach for a long time. Reclaim the control of your versatile number, with the changed secret key. 
● Confirm and change or reset the passwords and PIN quantities of your touchy monetary records and online media accounts. 
● Check your budget reports like credit/check card, bank, installment applications and other monetary records for any unapproved charges/changes. Promptly report regarding any progressions or charges to individual specialists. 
● If there should arise an occurrence of a SIM misrepresentation, contact telephone banking promptly to have your record obstructed and stay away from additional extortion. The last option presents your character archives by composing the legitimate explanation and sign for getting the new SIM
● Check for any approved posts or movement on your own or online media accounts. On the off chance that you notice any such posts make restorative strides and illuminate the web-based media assist Center with recovering control of the hacked accounts.