How to know if your mobile phone has been cloned

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Although today's mobile phone networks and handset manufacturers have taken taken steps to clamp down on phone fraud, there are some ill-intentioned individuals who continue to find ways to circumvent even the highest levels of security technology. Mobile phone cloning is one of the most notorious methods of phone fraud so keep a close eye on your bills to ensure your phone account isn't being used by someone else.

Go to your mobile phone network's website. Sign up for the provider's online account management system so you can have immediate access to your billing and use information, even before your paper bill arrives in the post.

Take special note of any times where you may be unable to use your phone. Since a cloned mobile phone appears identical to yours, you may discover that you receive 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.

Record the times, dates and frequency of these "blackouts" and, if they are occurring for long durations and repeatedly throughout each day, contact your mobile network and report the problem. Tell the company you believe your phone may have been cloned.

Cooperate with the network and grant permission for the company to initiate a detailed audit of your phone 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 you to highlight all unfamiliar numbers, dates and times.

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