How to tell if your phone has been cloned

With our ever-increasing reliance on smartphones, a lot of personal and private information is stored on them. From pictures and messages you don’t want others to see to important banking and other financial info, there isn’t much we don’t store on our phones. Keeping our devices safe and secure is essential, and while device makers have made it harder for malicious actors, vulnerabilities pop up surprisingly often. Here’s how to tell if your phone has been cloned.

Read more: How to stay safe online and lower the risk of being hacked


There are a few signs to look out for that let you know if your phone has been cloned. A malware-infected phone will perform poorly, lose battery quickly, and get surprisingly warm even if you aren’t doing any processor-intensive tasks. If you suspect SIM card cloning, watch out for unusual calls and charges on your phone bill, check whether you’re able to make or receive calls and text messages, and be careful about suspicious messages that ask you to restart your phone.


What is phone cloning

pixel 6 pro multiple sim support

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority


Phone cloning isn’t as simple as some spy movies might make it seem, but it is a genuine concern for any smartphone user. There are two ways a malicious actor can clone your phone. The first is to copy your phone’s SIM card data and IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) information to duplicate your smartphone on another device. They can make calls and send messages for phishing scams, access one-time banking and other account passwords, or make expensive calls to premium-rate numbers.

Another type of phone cloning is where someone can copy or access your phone’s data. A few legal spy apps are available for parents to monitor their child’s phone activity. But for the most part, a hacker can install malicious apps on your phone through malware.

There’s a lot hackers can do after malware is installed on your phone. Keyloggers let them see everything you type on your phone, like account login information. They might also be able to access private documents, photos, and videos and leak them, try and scam friends, family, and other contacts, or install…