"He just cloned your phone!"

I was wearing my security guard jacket.  How I got it is another story; I'm not really a security guard but the jacket is warm, water proof and sometimes people give me free donuts when I wear it.  It had been raining on and off so the jacket was a good choice for my needs.
I was in one of the return lines at Wal-Mart; in the other line a young 20's-something black kid was returning a PC.  I was leaning against the wall waiting for the lady behind the desk process my needs -- you know how this goes:  Returns require cross checks, item reviews, and so forth.  It takes a bit of time.
Suddenly an older black guy enters the area.  He glances in my direction, notes I'm not a real cop and then zero's in on the young kid.  Walking up him, he asks if the kid will allow him to call someone on the kid's cell phone.  His cell phone has either been forgotten or is dead or some such, but (as one black guy to another) can the kid let him use his cell phone for a call.  The kid looks around and not wanting to seem rude to the older guy, he hands over his cell phone.
I'm leaning against the wall watching as the older guy dials a number, suddenly lowers the phone next to his leg, and says, "Oh, wait, let me call a different person," brings the phone back up and dials another number.
GOOD GOD!  I could NOT believe what I just witnessed!
To the kid I loudly say, in a shocked voice, "He just cloned your phone!"  The kid looks at me sheepishly and says, "What?"
 "Do you know this guy?" I said indicating the older guy.  The kid shakes his head "No" and I continue, "He JUST cloned your phone!"
Ignorance runs rampart in the world today.  The kid responded, "What does that mean?"
Me: "You have just given this guy complete control of your phone.  You have a computer at home, look it up."  He was returning a computer it stands to reason he has access to one somewhere.  I decided to clue him in.  "This guy now has complete control over your phone.  He just cloned your phone.  You need to call your service provider right away, I think the number is 6-1-1, and tell them EXACTLY what JUST happened.  Tell them you need to have your security code changed on your phone.  It doesn't cost anything and only takes a couple of seconds.  But this guy just cloned your phone."
The old guy approaches me demanding to know who I am and wants to see my badge.  I ignore him.
"Look, do you get email on your phone?"  The kid nods he does.  "He has complete access to your emails.  Do you ever buy anything with your phone" Again "Yes." "He has complete access to your purchasing processes.  If you recorded your credit card or bank information on your phone, he has access to it all.  Do you have any pictures on your phone you don't anyone else to see?" The kid asks, "What?"  "Have you ever taken a picture of yourself or has your girlfriend ever sent you a private picture you'd never want anyone else to see?"  The kid blushes.  "He now has access to ALL of those!"
 The kid looks at one of the ladies behind the counter and asks, "Is this true?"
 She looks at him and says, "The other guy looks really pissed off."  The older black guy storms off.
Me, "Look: Call your service provider, the number is probably 6-1-1.  Tell them EXACTLY what just happened and that you want your cell phone security code changed.  They will do it for free, but you need to do it right away.  Before he or his partner can download all the information from your phone."
The lady serving me finished her processes and refunded my money as I left the bewildered looking kid wondering what to do.  "Call your service provider.  Tell them EXACTLY what just happened.  They will know what to do.  Tell them you think your phone was cloned." and I left.
Looking back, there were a lot of things I probably should have done differently.  For example, I would have liked to have proven my assertions AND gotten the first number the old guy dialed.  It would have been in the calling history and easy to see.
How Did I Know?
Okay, first of all, the older guy was wearing a hat with a REALLY wide brim.  Yes, it had been raining, but I also noticed the guy never looked up.  Why are both of these significant?  Because the other guy knows the cameras on the ceiling of every Wal-Mart store are watching everything and recording every face.  His hat blocked the cameras from seeing his face as long as he never looks up.
When the older guy dialed the first number, he brought down the phone next to his leg as he explained he really needed to dial a different number.  Then, WITHOUT HANGING UP THE PHONE, he dialed a different number.  THAT was when I realized what had just happened!  He never hung up the phone from the first number he dialed!
 The cell phone companies have numerous phone numbers they use for technical reasons.  Some report what number you are dialing from, what your phone's serial number is and so forth.  One of these numbers, for maintenance reasons, grants complete access to your phone's account.  Basically anything your phone does or contains you can share with another phone for technical assistance.
How Does It Work:  You dial a special number on a cell phone, wait for some beeps and then dial the phone number of another phone you want to have access to the targeted cell phone's account and setting information.
When the older guy lowered the phone to his leg to explain he needed to dial another number, HE NEVER HUNG UP THE PHONE.  He was giving the target phone enough time to reach the first number he dialed so he could dial in the number of the phone he was using to hijack this kid's phone.
 IF I WAS WRONG nothing serious happens.  The Service Provider changes the kid's cell phone security code and life goes on.  The process for changing the code is fairly simple and doesn't really interrupt your service but anyone not having your phone's new security code can't access it any longer.
But, I regret not proving my assertion by reading and recording the phone number from the "call" the older guy made.
I also really should have had the person behind the counter call security.  Hacking a cell phone is a federal offense.  I should have altered the authorities to what just happened.  But at that point, on that day, my only task was to prevent the kid from being hacked.  Hopefully he did as I suggested.  But as in most of these assignments, I presented the warning, gave the option to the person I was there to help and then allowed the mortal to choose his destiny.
Now for the moral of this TRUE story:
 Never EVER let strangers or questionable friends use your cell phone.

Me?  I never route my main email to my phone, I never purchase anything with my cell phone nor do I keep private pictures on it.  I assume that AT ANY TIME my cell phone could be hacked and everything on it downloaded by bad guys.
With a little time, I could find out how to do it on my own.
 So can the bad guys.
I Am Sielow, These are my words.
If you like what you've read, PLEASE share it and recommend my works to others.
If you'd like to see other items I've posted, look for my blog at: https://iamsielow.tumblr.com/archive 
If you like what you have seen and read, please consider supporting me at: www.subscribestar.com/IamSielow
I am also (soon to be) on YouTube as IAmSielow.  Please consider looking for my works and subscribing.