Written by Oliver Buxton
Published on April 5, 2023

What number to dial to see if your phone is being tapped

You can check whether your calls, texts, or data are being diverted to other devices by typing Man-Machine Interface (MMI) codes into your phone. Entering MMI codes is as simple as dialing a regular phone number.

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    The only slight complication is that the main US mobile carriers run on different networks, meaning you’ll need to dial different numbers depending on whether you’re on a GSM network (like AT&T and T-Mobile) or a CDMA network (like Verizon and US Cellular).

    There are specific MMI codes that you can dial to find out if your calls or messages are being forwarded to other numbers, but the best number to dial to see if your phone is tapped or tracked relates to all types of call and data forwarding.

    Here are the numbers to dial on GSM or CDMA networks if you want to know if your phone is tapped:

    GSM networks

    • *#002# — Lists all call and data forwarding settings

    • ##002# — Clears all call and data forwarding settings

    CDMA networks

    • *72 — Lists all call and data forwarding settings

    • *73 — Clears all call and data forwarding settings

    What to do if your phone is tapped?

    If you discover your phone is tapped, you’ll need to know how to get your phone’s identification number so you can file a police report. Here’s what you do:

    Dial *#06# and a 15-digit number will appear on your screen. The only difference between the networks is that GSM uses an IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number and CDMA uses an MEID (Mobile Equipment Identifier) number. They are virtually identical — the IMEI number is the full 15 digits and the MEID is the first 14 digits (just leave off the last digit).

    MMI codes that show if anyone catches your unanswered calls

    If you’ve been receiving one-ring calls that don’t then show up as missed calls in your call history, it's likely a result of conditional call forwarding. This diverts your incoming calls — and any resulting voicemails — to another phone number.

    To find out for sure whether someone else is receiving your unanswered calls, dial either *#61# for GSM networks or *92 for CDMA networks to list conditional call forwarding for your phone number. If a number you don’t recognize (that isn’t your voicemail) is listed, clear your settings using the ##61# reset code on GSM, or *93 on CDMA.

    What about when my phone is off or out of service?

    Out-of-service (OOS) conditional call forwarding diverts incoming phone calls and text messages whenever your phone is turned off, or if it’s without a network signal. To uncover OOS conditional call forwarding on GSM networks, dial *#62# and deregister unknown numbers using the ##62# reset code.

    There is no universal MMI code for OOS conditional call forwarding on CDMA networks, but Verizon One Talk customers can view and modify their OSS settings by dialing **62* and following the on-screen instructions.

    A diagram showing how out-of-service call forwarding diverts calls to another number on a separate device.Out-of-service call forwarding diverts incoming calls if the phone is turned off or has no signal.

    What about calls diverted when I reject them or am on another call?

    Conditional call forwarding can also be configured to send calls and voicemails to another number when an incoming call is rejected or the line is engaged. You can view your rejected call forwarding settings by dialing the code *#67# (GSM) or *90 (CDMA).

    To prevent rejected call forwarding to any suspect numbers in the future, clear your settings using the GSM MMI code ##67# or the CDMA MMI code *91.

    Is there one MMI code to see all conditional call forwarding settings?

    Both GSM and CDMA networks let you view and reset all your call forwarding settings using a single MMI code. For AT&T, T-Mobile, and other GSM network customers, dial *#004# to display all conditional call forwarding settings, and clear them by dialing ##004#. Verizon, US Cellular, and other CDMA network customers should dial either *41 or *42 to find all conditional call forwarding settings, and then *43 to clear them.

    How can I find out if all my calls and data are being forwarded?

    It’s also possible for all calls and messages to be diverted away from your number. This kind of unconditional data forwarding is difficult to detect because no trace of incoming calls or messages is ever displayed on your phone, and won’t even show up on your phone bill.

    You can find out if your phone has been tapped using unconditional data forwarding with the help of MMI codes. On GSM networks, dial *#21# to list, and ##21# to clear your unconditional data forwarding settings. CDMA network customers can view and modify these settings too by dialing **21*.

    How to tell if your phone is tapped

    A tapped phone typically displays certain tell-tale signs that alert you to the fact that someone’s listening in to your calls, intercepting your messages, or otherwise snooping on your mobile data.

    Here’s how to tell if your cell phone is being tracked, tapped, or monitored by spy software:

    Battery issues

    A sudden decrease in battery performance is a major red flag that malware is being used to tap your phone. Hoovering up your data requires a lot of resource-intensive background processes, so you’ll likely notice your phone overheating for no apparent reason or draining faster than usual.

    Increased mobile data usage

    Unexplained spikes in your mobile data consumption are another warning sign that your phone may have been hacked and that spyware is tapping your phone. Data-usage spikes from spyware are caused by the unauthorized transfer of large volumes of your data to a remote server, for blackmail, identity theft, or to be sold to other cybercrooks. It’s often accompanied by a noticeable lag or slow down in your internet speeds when connecting via mobile data.

    Unwanted ads and apps running in the background

    Pop-ups and other ads may be more than just an irritating nuisance — they could signal that hackers have compromised your device. If you notice an influx of annoying ads or apps you don’t recognize running in the background, take steps to secure your device immediately by running a scan to find and remove viruses on your phone.

    Your phone takes longer to shut down

    Sluggish shutdowns are another potential side-effect of phone tapping. This is often caused by malicious apps or software running background processes that require extra time to shut down and force your system to wait for them before the device powers down.

    Blocked emails

    If your emails aren’t being delivered to your intended recipient, or your contacts tell you they’ve sent you emails that never landed in your inbox, it’s possible that your email settings have been tampered with by a hacker. If this is the case, your other communications might be being monitored or intercepted too.

    Personal data leaks

    If your private information has been exposed in a data breach, it could be available on the dark web, putting you at risk of credit card fraud and other forms of identity theft. But the danger may not be over even once you’ve secured your affected accounts and credentials. Data breaches can be a signal that phone tapping has allowed cybercriminals to access your personal information.

    Your phone shows activity when not in use

    If your phone’s lighting up, making sounds, or displaying other signs of activity when you’re not using it, someone may have remote access to your phone.

    Performance issues

    Performance issues such as freezes, crashes, glitches, laggy response times, or slow processing can be caused by software and hardware problems. But those issues could also indicate that hackers are up to no good with your phone — particularly if these symptoms coincide with other signs of phone tapping.

    Strange messages

    Phone tapping doesn’t necessarily just intercept your calls and messages, it can cause you to start getting all sorts of spam and phishing messages too. Avoid clicking any links sent from unknown numbers, and delete suspicious messages immediately.

    Websites look off

    When something seems “off” while browsing websites on your mobile, it could be an indication that your phone’s been compromised by malware that’s acting as a proxy between you and your browser, and logging your activity. Signs to watch out for include things like persistent pop-ups even when you’re using an ad-blocker, or sites appearing or behaving strangely.

    Protect your phone from being tapped

    MMI codes tell you whether your call forwarding settings have been tampered with, but they won’t detect other forms of phone tapping or surveillance using spyware. That’s why you should use a comprehensive security app like AVG AntiVirus FREE to root out all forms of spyware and other malware.

    AVG AntiVirus FREE features email and web shields that can help block phishing attempts, protect your webcam, and prevent unauthorized remote access to your device. Protect your privacy and security for free today with AVG.


    Does calling *#21 tell if your phone is tapped?

    Dialing *#21# on a GSM network like AT&T or T-Mobile will tell you whether your calls and messages are being diverted to another number. Call **21* if you use Verizon, US Cellular, or another CDMA network to discover any unconditional call forwarding settings that may be used to tap your phone.

    What is the 3-digit number to see if your phone is tapped?

    If your phone is on a CDMA network like Verizon or US Cellular, dialing the code *72 will tell you whether any of your calls or data are being forwarded to another number. Dial *#002# to uncover this kind of phone tapping on GSM networks.

    What does ##002 do to your phone?

    Dialing ##002# deactivates any conditional or unconditional call forwarding settings on your account and also deletes any data such as messages or voicemails that were previously diverted to another number. This code only applies to phones on GSM networks such as AT&T or T-mobile.

    What is the *#61 code used for?

    Dialing *#61# from a phone on a GSM network like AT&T or T-Mobile will list any conditional call forwarding settings that are causing unanswered calls and subsequent voicemails to be diverted to another number. It’s also possible to clear these settings by dialing ##61#. The equivalent codes for CDMA networks such as Verizon and US Cellular are *92 and *93.

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    Oliver Buxton