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Sim cloning?

  • 06-01-2023 2:33pm
    Registered Users Posts: 452 ✭✭ Xaniaj

    I got my gomo bill last night and instead of the normal 9.99, I had a few charges. When looking at the bill, it looks like my number is being used to make 100s of calls (mostly Irish mobiles but a few international calls as well) and texts. I contacted gomo and they're maintaining its coming from my number and that sim cloning isn't possible, anyone know if that's correct?

    I've checked my app permissions for both messages and calls and nothing suspicious is appearing. I've downloaded an anti virus app and that's getting nothing and I'm seeing nothing on my outbound calls/messages.

    Any ideas?? Thanks.


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 73,727 Mod ✭✭✭✭ New Home

    They've circulated emails to a lot of people saying they had sent out the wrong bills.

  • Registered Users Posts: 452 ✭✭ Xaniaj

    Thanks for that, I saw those issues but not sure if they're connected. They responded a few times today and they couldn't see any issue on my account.

    They're sending me a new Sim. I barred all outbound calls this morning but based on my call activity, that doesn't seem to have actually worked.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,663 ✭✭✭✭ Donald Trump

    If I remember correctly, you used to be able to clone sims until about 15-20 years ago. Then they changed to use a different type of encryption, which basically means that in order to brute force it, you have to access it so many times that it burns out the memory on the chip.

    But back then, using the previous types of sims, it was possible even for a consumer level person to buy a little kit off the internet and copy your own. Which was probably why they were upgraded!

  • Moderators, Arts Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 73,727 Mod ✭✭✭✭ New Home

    Could there be some app with background permissions that would allow them to make calls unbeknownst to you? I know I had to disabled my calendar (and a good few others) because of it. They never did show up on my bill, mind you, but I wasn't going to let them get a chance to do that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,732 ✭✭✭ Ten Pin

     If someone is using a SIM with your number then ask Gomo to investigate what mast the other calls are routed through and compare them to the mast that the calls that are definitely yours are routed through.

    Are your calls listed correctly on the bill? Are any of the other calls in the premium rate category?

    You might need to use GDPR data request and the formal complaints process to resolve it as gomo don't seem too concerned about getting to the bottom of unusual issues that can't be easily fixed.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 452 ✭✭ Xaniaj

    I checked my app permissions this morning and there was nothing standing out. I removed a couple that I wouldn't need but seemed kosher for it to have the permission in the first place. I also did an anti virus check (a first on my android, ever!) and that showed that no app was running in the background suspiciously.

    I'm completely stumped, if sim cloning is pretty much impossible, then maybe it is a crazy billing issue but surely they'd have noticed when looking at the issue!

  • Registered Users Posts: 452 ✭✭ Xaniaj

    Thanks for the suggestion, I did ask if they could verify the location of where the 'suspect' calls were coming from and they said:

    "Only one number can be active on any network at one time so there would only be your device and the SIM activated that would display the information.No duplication is possible as in you cant have two of the same numbers active at one time."

    I'm not a huge caller but the few calls and texts I made are on the bill as normal, with 100s of other calls and texts.

    No premium numbers but luckily there were a few international calls in there, or else I wouldn't have noticed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 551 ✭✭✭ Sir Galahad

    I contracted to one of the big four practices and the forensic guys had the technology to clone sims. They could retrieve everything (deleted) that had been on the sim. Fantastic technology not available to Joe Public.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,446 ✭✭✭✭ kippy

    What are the international numbers? Or the numbers you don't recognise? Have you tried googling them?

    Are there numbers in there that you have actually rang or is at all unknown numbers to you?

  • Registered Users Posts: 452 ✭✭ Xaniaj

    No, nothing on Google for them! It's a random mix of Irish mobiles, landlines and oddly, a few Brazilian numbers.

    My own calls and texts are in there as normal

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,732 ✭✭✭ Ten Pin

    Has the issue been examined in detail by the technical / engineering dept or is it just customer service saying cloning isn't possible?

    A formal complaint is probably needed to put skates under them to fix it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,518 ✭✭✭ Curious_Case

    Could the issue be related to the ACTUAL, ORIGINAL number of the SIM ?

    If you chose to keep your old number, you would have been sent a "GoMo number" SIM which is "re-routed" through their network.

    I'm just guessing here, but try having someone call the original number to see if it's still active ?

    You may need the original packaging or maybe it's printed on the GoMo SIM

    In a similar vein, what happened to your old SIM (if you used the same number before switching) ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 689 ✭✭✭ rm212

    I am having the exact same issue as you here. I have an extra 17 euro odd of charges for phone calls to several international numbers which I don’t recognise. My call history on my phone shows no record of those calls.

    I was even charged for some international SMSs which I have no record of. The calls are continuing to appear daily in my usage on the Gomo account portal. I was really worried something dodgy was going on but it’s a slight relief to see someone else with the issue as it makes it much more likely it’s an issue on their side.

  • Registered Users Posts: 452 ✭✭ Xaniaj

    There's 2 of us! When did it start for you? Mine started around Christmas and out fo the blue.

    @Curious_Case I guess that's possible but I've been on this sim for 2 years. Gomo do seem to being having random issues though, so who knows.

    @Ten Pin they vaguely referred to IT in some of their mails back, but as I only raised the issue yesterday, I can't see them having looked into too much.

    I'll email them again this wkd to try and push for a proper investigation on it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 689 ✭✭✭ rm212

    Mine seems to have started on 24 December I think, judging by the call logs in the bill. It’s going on up until the day before yesterday at least… not sure how long their website takes to update the My Usage section.

    I’ve sent them an email too, so hopefully if multiple people start contacting them, they’ll investigate properly. If they don’t seem serious about it, we can always threaten to involve ComReg, which will likely get them to move the issue up the chain.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,701 ✭✭✭✭ lawred2

    Maybe you're being billed in error for other gomo users' legitimate activity

  • Registered Users Posts: 689 ✭✭✭ rm212

    That’s the thing I was suspecting yeah, because the calls are billed as “international calls” on dates I was abroad, where my own legitimate calls are under the heading “Roaming Calls” (which includes international and Irish numbers called while roaming). So the calls are billed as calls from Ireland even though I wasn’t in Ireland on those dates

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,732 ✭✭✭ Ten Pin

    May or may not be a factor for this topic but there is something counterintuitive about WiFi calling with Gomo while roaming.

    Below is from their T&Cs...

    "If you are roaming in the EEA and using GoMo WiFi Calling, your usage will be deducted from domestic standard call and SMS allowance as described in your SIM Only Service. Calls made to Irish numbers will be charged from your domestic plan allowance."

    ...which reads as roaming WiFi calls to Irish numbers are included. OK so far.


    "Calls made to the roaming country within which you are staying in or to any number outside of Ireland will be charged at standard international rates from Ireland. If you prefer to pay standard roaming rates for these calls, you have to disable GoMo WiFi Calling."

    ....which implies that Gomo charge for roaming WiFi calls to non Irish numbers that would be included if made through the mobile network.

  • Registered Users Posts: 452 ✭✭ Xaniaj

    I did think that but it'd have to be multiple wrong accounts linked, I'm talking 30-40 calls in the space of an hour ot two. Its hard to see it being one account with legitimate usage.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,518 ✭✭✭ Curious_Case

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  • Registered Users Posts: 689 ✭✭✭ rm212

    Nah definitely not that, these are numbers I’ve never seen before and I didn’t make or receive any calls on most of the days they’re logged. Almost all of my calls are WhatsApp etc anyway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 689 ✭✭✭ rm212

    Have you had any success arguing with them over this?

  • Registered Users Posts: 452 ✭✭ Xaniaj

    They confirmed on Monday that they'd look into it properly but it'd take a couple of days. No update yet!

  • Registered Users Posts: 416 ✭✭ Max Power 2010

    Having worked on Mobile core networks cloning isn't possible, firstly and covered above the SIM encryption, secondly the Core network (HLR) could not possibly allow a duplicate Phone number and IMSI (a unique identifier to the SIM and HLR) to be registered at the same time.

    Also with some knowledge of eir/gomo's internal systems what you have here is a billing issue, eg CDRs (call records) being billed to the wrong account, be it bad mediation or a database issue.

  • Registered Users Posts: 452 ✭✭ Xaniaj

    Hey Max, thanks for that and that's what they've said today, a billing issue.

    I can only imagine how many accounts are somehow linked as there's been hundreds of calls showing up this year!

    I'll keep an eye on my usage as I was still seeing the calls up until Tues.

  • Registered Users Posts: 689 ✭✭✭ rm212

    After the twats told me it was my usage twice in a copy and paste email response, I told them I was involving ComReg and cc’d them.

    Today they came back and said they had investigated and reversed the charges and now I see that an official email has gone out as it obviously affected multiple people.