Shock over big phone bill prompts Tewkesbury councillor’s mobile warning
PETE Aldridge is urging people to check their mobile phone bills regularly.
It follows the Tewkesbury town councillor being sent a four-figure bill by his provider because his phone had been cloned by someone sending international text messages.
He warned that it must have happened through someone using some kind of remote cloning technology because his phone had not been out of his possession. Mr Aldridge, of Pyke Road, Newtown, Tewkesbury, reported the incident to the police and fully expects his mobile phone company to cancel the bill it sent him.
But he said receiving a bill for thousands of pounds had been a worrying experience,“When I showed my wife how much the bill was for, her face went extremely white,” he said.
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“We did an investigation ourselves and we think somebody must have done it via a computer. It happened while the phone was switched off overnight. For eight or nine hours, there were texts going out via my SIM card.
“There are so many ways in which to clone things.”
He said he did not know whether a factor in him being targeted was that his mobile number was published on the town council’s website.
Just in case it was, he has asked for the number to be taken off the list.
Cloning happens when someone acquires a mobile phone user’s personal information and is able to add another handset to their account.
The original user then ends up paying for the other person’s calls or texts.
Mr Aldridge added: “It’s an awareness issue. It probably wouldn’t affect people on pay-as-you-go because the money would run out if their phone was cloned. But if, like me, you are on a monthly contract, you need to check your bills.”