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How to confirm if your mobile phone is genuine or fake

The Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) on Tuesday, May 19 introduced a mobile messaging service that will help Kenyans to verify if the mobile phones they own or wish to purchase are genuine or fake.

The authority’s acting Director-General Mercy Wanjau said that the move is in furtherance of its consumer protection mandate.

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“In furtherance of its consumer protection mandate, the Authority has set up a Mobile Messaging Service to aid users in ascertaining whether the mobile phone handsets they own or are about to purchase are genuine,” Wanjau said.

The consumer can follow the four steps below to ascertain of their phone is genuine or not.

1. Dial *#06# on the mobile device to display its international mobile equipment identifier number (IMEI).

2. Copy that IMEI number and SMS it to 1555.

3. You will receive a response from CA displaying details about your phone, including the make and model.

4. If the details displayed on the reply SMS match with those of your phone (or the one you want to buy), then it is genuine. If they don’t, it is fake.

If the details shown in the SMS match are exactly the same as those of the mobile phone, then it is genuine.

On the other hand, if the message details displayed contradict those of the phone in question it is counterfeit.

The best solution would now be to contact the CA with a detailed report.

In March 2019, counterfeit mobile phones worth KSh 8 million were confiscated from shops along Luthuli Avenue by the Anti Counterfeit Agency (ACA).

According to Ibrahim Bule, the agencys Chief Inspector, six suspects were arrested during the operation.

The phones which were seized had been rebranded with names of popular brands including Samsung, HTC, Nokia, Huawei, and Sony.

April the same year, fake Samsung phones and accessories worth more than KSh 10 million were also seized by anti-counterfeit officers.

In a sting operation, inspectors from the Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA) raided several outlets in downtown Nairobi along Mfangano Street and seized 213 counterfeit mobile phones.

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They also seized over 1000 mobile phone accessories including chargers.The raid followed complaints from the phone maker and tip-offs from members of the public.

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