Cell Phone Scams and How to Avoid Them

As more people use cell phones, the possibilities for scams around the technology has risen. These are scams that cost victims a lot of money. Let’s take a look at various types of cell phone scams so you know how to avoid them.

Phone Theft

Cell phone thieves benefit because they can use the stolen phone to make unauthorized calls. The larger danger is the wealth of personal information a criminal now has access to. This might include social security numbers, passwords or bank account information.

Use an app that allows you to track your phone if someone lifts it. Some phones come with this technology installed. If your phone doesn’t have it installed at the factory, then you can download one to use. Another type of app allows you to wipe all your data and information off it in the event that someone steals it.


This is a scam where a criminal gains access to your phone remotely. They now have the ability to program their phone with your phone’s information. When they make calls from their cloned phone, the calls are seen as entries on your cell phone bill.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot you can do to prevent cloning from happening. Reach out to your cell phone carrier the moment you think calls are being made remotely.

Subscriber Fraud

This is similar in nature to what happens with identity theft. A criminal opens up a cell phone account under your name after gaining access to your personal information. This allows the person to use the phone and create a large bill in your name. It might take a long time to figure out that you aren’t the one responsible for the debt.

The best way to avoid this type of cell phone scam is to protect your sensitive information. Get in contact with your cell phone company the minute you think you’re a victim of subscriber fraud.

Other common cell phone scams include:

Text scams: One version is a text that asks you to call or visit a website because of fraudulent bank account activity. When you visit the site or make the call, a scammer gains access to your personal information.

Recorded Message Scams: You might get a voicemail message asking you to call a number to claim a prize. You are charged high fees if you call the number.

One-ring Scams: The criminal hopes you’ll call back after ringing your phone once. You are charged a high connection fee when you call their number back.

Phone Insurance Scams: Scammers will call you soon after you buy a new phone and try to get you to purchase fake phone insurance.

There are many phone scams happening to people all around the world. Use the above information to gain new awareness around this issue. Do your best to keep your phone close at all times. The best thing you can do is protect yourself by not engaging with scammers who reach out to you.

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