SIM card cloning is a major security issue that can cause an intruder to break into your accounts. For example, it could read SMS messages and enter the bank account or use your social networks. It could also impersonate you and make purchases on your behalf. In this article we are going to talk about how to detect if your mobile card has been cloned and what to do to avoid it.
How to know if the SIM card has been cloned
To solve a problem, the first thing to do is to know that we really have that problem. Therefore, detecting that a SIM card has been cloned is essential to find a way to solve it. This type of attack is also known as SIM Swapping and when it happens it is usually quite visible.
calls don’t work
The first sign that something is wrong is when you are not receiving calls . You try to call yourself from another phone and you see that it sounds correctly, that it gives a tone, but your phone is not really ringing. Logically, this will indicate that there is something strange and you will begin to suspect that your SIM card has been stolen.
We can say that it is one of the most common problems. When a person suffers a SIM Swapping attack, they usually realize it when they see that they are not receiving a call even though another person says that they are ringing.
messages do not arrive
Something similar happens with text messages . You see that you are not receiving SMS and you are sure that you should receive one, for example for the mobile access code. It is precisely the hackers’ goal to take control of these messages. In this way they will be able to control other accounts, such as social networks or the bank.
SMS today, although it may seem obsolete, is more important than ever. Think of a payment you make online and the code that comes to your mobile to verify it. The same when making a transfer, entering a social network from another computer, etc. It is what is known as two-step authentication and is basically a code that you receive by SMS. Hackers may aim to clone a SIM precisely to access those codes.
Internet connection gone
One more sign that there is something wrong with your SIM card is if you lose connection . You try to connect many times, you know you are in a coverage area but it doesn’t work. Basically it is as if you did not have the card inserted in the mobile. You do not receive a signal and you could not call, send messages or navigate.
However, losing your Internet connection can occur for many reasons. If this happens to you, it is better that you confirm it by sending SMS or receiving calls. The connection may have gone simply due to a specific problem with the line or a mobile failure for some reason that you do not control.
you have a different location
You may try to look at the location of the phone and it appears as if you were somewhere else. It is as if your mobile line were in another city or country. This can mean that your SIM card has been cloned without your knowledge and is certainly a red flag and something that will prompt you to take action to fix it.
It is common for someone who has cloned your SIM card to be somewhere else. A SIM Swapping attack impersonates your identity and someone else receives the card elsewhere as if it were really you. It would be very unlikely that the location of that person was the same as yours.
You get weird messages
Another reason for alert is when you start receiving strange messages . You may even see SMS from the attacker, where it tells you what you should do to solve a certain problem. That step is what could allow him to finally clone your mobile card and take control. However, if you receive SMS it means that the cloning has not been completed yet.
Yes, you could receive emails once your mobile card has been attacked. You could start receiving strange e-mails from the attacker or also from any other Internet service you are using.
Tips to avoid cloning the mobile card
After explaining what signs will indicate that a SIM card has been cloned, we will explain what you should do to prevent this from happening . The objective in this case is to be prepared so as not to suffer cyber attacks of this type and to be able to protect your mobile line from possible intruders.
Contact the company as soon as possible
If you find yourself in any of the situations that we have described above, the first thing you should do is contact the company as soon as possible. You must indicate that you are not receiving calls, SMS or that you notice that there is something strange with your line. They will help you see what may have happened and take action quickly.
In these cases the most important thing is to cut the problem as soon as possible. If an attacker has managed to duplicate the SIM card, they will be able to take control of your accounts and put you in trouble. Solving the problem is essential.
Avoid leaking your data on the Internet
Normally these attacks happen because someone has obtained your personal data. With these data they have contacted the operator and have requested a duplicate SIM card. But how have they been able to obtain the data? They could have done it if you have left your personal information on the Internet on a page, you have registered on an insecure platform or through a virus that has slipped into the system.
With all this they could obtain data that they can use against you, to impersonate your identity. Avoid making your personal information public, for example in open forums, comments on websites, etc. This also includes your phone number, which is what they will mainly use.
Install security programs
To prevent the entry of malware, something essential is to have a good antivirus . Security programs can help detect threats and will allow you to clean the system so that there are no Trojans, keyloggers or any other malicious software that could be stealing personal information.
There are many options available. Some that work very well are, for example, Windows Defender or Avast. It doesn’t matter what operating system you’re using, as there can always be security issues and should be avoided.
But without a doubt the most important thing of all is common sense. Avoiding making mistakes is what will help you not to be a victim of SIM Swapping. For example, one strategy they use is to call by phone to request personal data or to tell you that you have to do something to solve a supposed problem.
Avoiding mistakes of this type is essential. Whenever you have doubts, it is best to contact the operator directly. Never put data through a strange link that comes to you by mail, nor install applications that could be a fraud and compromise your privacy. We are not only talking about the problem of duplicating a mobile card, but many other threats.
In short, as you can see, you can take into account some recommendations to detect when your SIM card has been cloned. But it is important to always take precautions and not fall into traps that affect your privacy.