How to Block a Stolen or Lost Phone with a Safaricom Line

Countless people lose their phones every day either due to misplacement or thieves. Unfortunately, since our phones have grown to be a very intricate part of our lives, a stolen phone may mean incurring huge financial loses or worse getting wrongfully implicated in criminal activity.

Unlike in the past, phones nowadays are not merely stolen to be sold to unsuspecting customers. The culprits will usually withdraw or transfer any money in your M-PESA account to themselves before disposing off the phone.

If that's not enough, they may go as far as to taking mobile loans on your behalf from services such as M-Shwari, KCB-MPESA or loan apps such as Branch and Tala leaving you in debt and a likely poor credit rating in the CRB down the road.

And as for your longstanding loyalty to Safaricom, they will be sure to may make good use of it by transferring or redeeming your accumulated Bonga Points.

The good news however is that all this doesn't have to happen to you. To make sure of this you'll  need to be prompt at getting your Safaricom line blocked as well as your phone. After the SIM card is blocked you can always replace it with a new one having the same number.

Step 1: Block the Safaricom Line

block phone sim card

To block your Safaricom SIM card from any use, you'll need to contact the Safaricom customer care and report the matter. They'll ask a few questions such as your ID number to confirm whether you're the actual owner of the number.

You can reach the customer care by calling them for free on 100 (Prepay) or 200 (Postpay) on another Safaricom line. For chargeable lines, you may call them on +254 722 002100 (prepaid) or +254 722 002200 (postpay).

Alternatively, you can reach them through the following additional channels:

Step 2: Report the Incident to the Police

After blocking your line, go to the nearest Police station and report the stolen or missing phone. You'll get a Police Abstract after filing the report.

Step 3: Block the Phone

Blocking the phone will ensure no SIM card can be used on the phone including those from other mobile network operators.

To do this, you'll need to know the IMEI number (International Mobile Equipment Identity) of your missing phone. This number is usually retrieved by dialling *#06# on your phone or by checking underneath your phone battery compartment.

Since this is not possible, you'll have to find your IMEI in one of the following ways:

1. Phone Box
If you still have with you the box with which you purchased the phone in, you'll usually find the IMEI printed on its side or on a sticker.

2. Via Safaricom Selfcare Portal
Go to Safaricom Selfcare Portal and login into your account. After logging in, select Product and Services from the menu then go to Operations > Phone > Block Phone.

In the Block Phone page, you'll find a list of IMEIs of all the phones that you've used your SIM card with recently. Note the respective IMEI of the missing phone.

After finding the IMEI, take it with you along with the Police Abstract to the nearest Safaricom shop and put the request to block phone.

How to Block the Phone via the Safaricom Selfcare Portal

You can also put a request to block the phone via the Selfcare Portal if you cannot access a Safaricom shop near you. To do this:

1. Go to the Selfcare Portal and log into your account.

2. In the menu select Product and Services then navigate to Operations > Phone > Block Phone.

3. In the Block Phone page, select the IMEI of the missing phone, below it the reason for blocking then download and print the block phone template word document. Fill the document then scan and save it with the name Bar Form.

4. Next scan your National ID and the Police Abstract and save it with the name Police Abstract.

5. Attach the three documents followed by a phone number to be contacted on. Once you're done click the Block Phone button to complete the request.

Step 4: Tracking the Phone

Safaricom will not track a stolen or missing phone for you. To do that you'll have to report the case to the CID for tracking.

How to Send a Voice SMS on Safaricom

Safaricom arguably has the widest selection of telecommunication services in the market. An unintended consequence for having such a variety is that some services slip under the radar of the consumer despite their utility. Such is the case of the Voice SMS service.

As its name suggests, the voice SMS service allows a subscriber to send a voice message instead of the typical text SMS. This works by simply having the sender record a voice message in a manner not much different to that of  a voicemail. The recorded message is then relayed to the recipient who is alerted to listen to it.

The service has all the hallmarks of voicemail the only difference here being that the caller initiates the recording. Consequently this service would came in handy in situations where a person is both unreachable and doesn't have the voicemail service enabled since the voice SMS will be sent either way once they're reachable.

This service can also be useful in situations where your receiver cannot take your call (e.g they are in a meeting) as they can retrieve the voice message later on at their convenience.

How do I send a Voice SMS Message?

No subscription is required to use the voice SMS service. Just open your dialler and add 1 in front of the number you wish to send the voice message and call it. e.g to leave a Voice SMS for the number 0722123456 you would call 10722123456.

voice sms call

Next follow the voice prompts to record the voice message and that's it. The recipient will then receive an SMS message from 211 alerting them of a new voice SMS.
voice message alert

The voice message can be listened to by dialling 211 and following the voice prompts. Older voice messages can also be retrieved by dialling 311 however this attracts some charges.
  • Note: Voice SMS can only be sent to only Safaricom numbers. This service doesn't work for subscribers on other networks.

What are the Voice SMS Charges?

Each voice SMS is charged at Ksh 3.50. Retrieving the voice SMS by for the first time is free by dialling 211. Older voice messages can also be retrieved by dialling 311 but at a cost of Ksh 2.00.

How To Buy Airtel Tubonge For Another Number

The Tubonge voice bundle by Airtel Kenya has amongst the cheapest call rates in the country. The bundle gives subscribers daily 100 minutes for Airtel to Airtel calls and a flat rate of Ksh 2.00 to call other networks.

Airtel have also introduced Tubonge Plus which includes free minutes to call other networks or a data bundle on top of the on-net minutes.

The best part about the Tubonge bundle however is that one can purchase it for another Airtel customer. This way you don't have to buy or sambaza them airtime first. Here's how it works.

Gift a Tubonge Bundle

gift tubonge bundle

1. Dial *544# and select Tubonge (Voice) or Tubonge Plus from the menu options. You can also select the Gift a Bundle option.

2. Next select the Gift Tubonge option.

3. Enter the Airtel number of the recipient.

4. Select the Tubonge bundle you wish to gift your recipient.

5. Confirm the purchase by choosing whether to Buy Once or Buy Auto Renew which will automatically renew the bundle once the validity period ends. That's it.

How To Repay HELB Loan Via Local Kenyan Banks

The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) offers various means of repaying HELB loans such as via M-PESA paybill 200800 and Credit or Debit (ATM) card.

The board also supports loan repayment via bank deposits to various banks. This can be done either directly by the borrower or as monthly deductions from one's salary through an employer. These monthly instalments are however expected not to be more than 25% of the employee’s basic salary.

On completion of the loan repayment, the borrower is issue with a HELB Clearance Certificate. On the other hand, failure to repay the HELB loan as agreed on the contract attracts penalties which are added to the borrower's loan account.

This may also lead to a negative listing in the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) which adversely affect one's ability to access loans from other financial institutions.

HELB Loan Repayment via Banks

helb repayment to bank

Loan payments are to be completed through a standing order, cash deposit or direct transfer (EFT i.e. from one bank to another) to the bank accounts listed below. The borrower's National ID number should always be indicated in all payments.
BankAccount NumberBranch
Citibank300 040 012Nairobi
Co-operative Bank011290 612 228 00University-way
Barclays Bank077 501 8216Barclays Plaza
Kenya Commercial Bank1103 266 314University-way
Standard chartered Bank010 801 826 4700Koinange street
Equity Bank055 029 357 3408Equity Center
National Bank of Kenya01001060391100Harambee Avenue
Family Bank035 000 024 971Family Bank Towers
Chase Bank0332084215001Family Bank Towers
NIC Bank1002247638Delta
Jamii Bora Bank0011748527001Koinange street

How to Get Your Safaricom Prepaid Usage Statement

Safaricom quietly rolled out a new feature that allows their prepaid subscribers to download statements of their usage. This feature is much like the M-PESA statement the only difference being that it shows a billing of all prepaid transactions instead of mobile money transactions.

One can request for either a Full or Mini Statement. Currently the full statement includes transactions for the past three months while the mini statement shows those of the past 24 hours.

Included in the full statement is a detailed history of following uses and their corresponding charges:
  • Calls
  • SMS / MMS
  • Data
  • Recharging (topping up the account)

Beside the charges, the history includes a log of the type of transaction, accounts charged and time of transaction. For instance for calls, the number called is listed along with the time of call, duration the the call lasted and the amount of charged.

A cumulative total of the money spent including the total VAT charge is also included in the statement.

How to Request for a Prepaid Statement using mySafaricom App

1. First download and install mySafaricom app if you haven't yet. It's available on Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

2. Complete the initial setup then inside the app open the Check Balance option.
prepaid usage statement
3. Below the Account Balance you'll find buttons to request for your Prepaid Usage Statement.

Option 1: Full Statement

1. Tap on the Full Statement button to request your preferred statement.

2. You will then be prompted to provide the email address where the statement will be sent along with the period of the statement. The maximum period is 3 months backwards from the day of request.
date range
Select Statement Period

Tap the Request button when finished.

2. Safaricom will then send a Transaction Code via SMS to complete the request. The app should automatically detect the code on receiving otherwise you'll have to enter it manually.

3. You will then receive a confirmation SMS indicating the statement has been sent.

4. Open your email address and you should find a new message from [email protected]. Attached will be the statement in PDF format. Unlike the M-PESA statement, this PDF is not password protected.

Option 2: Mini Statement

1. Tap on the Mini Statement button.

2. A brief summary of all the transactions completed in the past 24 hours will then be displayed in a table within the app.
mini Statement

3. Click on the green arrow to show full details of a transaction.

How to Request for a Prepaid Statement using Safaricom Selfcare Portal

The statement available from the Selfcare Portal is similar to the Full Statement but with a few columns missing.

1. Go to Safaricom Selfcare Portal and log into your account or register if you don't have one yet.

2. Once logged in, go the navigation menu then under the USAGE AND BILLS item select Usage History.
usage history

Your latest transactions will then be displayed in the loaded page.

2. To select a specific period, click on the calendar button and select the date ranges. The maximum period is the previous 3 months.

3. Click on the down arrow to expand and view details of each of the transactions.
transaction details
Expand to view more details

5. Once you’re done viewing the statement remember to logout from your account in case you're using a public computer. To do that go to My Profile > Log out.

How to Use Your Safaricom Line for Roaming Abroad

Roaming is a service that allows mobile phone users to make and receive calls, send and receive SMS, access the internet and other services while outside the coverage of their mobile network operator. This typically occurs when the customer travels to another country.

For this to work, the network operators have agreements with particular carriers in various countries abroad to allow their subscribers to connect to their networks. These are called Partner or Preferred networks.

For example:
When a Safaricom customer travels to the United States (US) and switches on their phone there, the phone will search and connect to a preferred network it finds (e.g. AT & T or T-Mobile).

On successfully connection the customer will now be roaming and depending on the phone in use, this will be indicated with an R in the network bars or some other different notification.

The Safaricom customer will now be able to make and receive calls within US, back home to Kenya and to other countries using their Safaricom mobile number. This is in addition to other services such as SMS and Data.

If no preferred networks are found the phone will connect to other available networks and if none of these are found the phone switches to emergency calls only.

How to Activate Safaricom Roaming

safaricom roaming

For Prepaid customers, their phones will automatically connect to a preferred network and start roaming when switched on in the visited country.

Postpaid customers however have to first activate roaming while still in Kenya by either calling customer care on 200 or visiting a Safaricom shop for the service to be activated. This is partly because the roaming costs will be charged on their postpaid bills unlike the prepaid customers.

If the phone doesn't connect to a network automatically or if you wish to switch between preferred networks, you can manually search and connect to other networks in the mobile network settings of your phone.

If you have problems activating or using roaming on your Prepay or Postpaid line you can reach the Safaricom customer care while roaming abroad by calling +254 722 002 100 or online via their Twitter handle @Safaricom_Care.

When planning on roaming ensure you Safaricom line is loaded with sufficient airtime or carry with you airtime scratch cards to top up when abroad.

How to Make and Receive Calls When Roaming with Safaricom

Before using roaming, ensure you've checked the Safaricom roaming tariff rates and bundles for the  country you're travelling to as they tend to be quite expensive and are billed differently from the normal tariffs.

Additionally, the rates vary across countries and the available networks within a particular country.

1. Making Calls

To make calls back to Kenya when roaming, call using the international format i.e. enter the exit code (+) followed by the country code (254) then the mobile number, i.e. 254 7XX XXXXXX.

The same format applies to landlines e.g. +254 20 XXXXXX for a landline in Nairobi.

To call another Kenyan number that is on international roaming, dial their number as if they're back in Kenya in the international format i.e. +254 7XX XXXXXX

To make International calls use the international format as you would normally e.g. +44 77XX XXXXXX for a UK mobile number, where 44 is the country code of UK.

To call a number within the country one is roaming, dial the number as it's normally dialled within that country i.e. without the country code e.g. 123-4567 if roaming the US in the same area as the receiver.

In some countries, you may however be required to add the area code before the number if the receiver is in another part of that country, e.g. to call a someone in a different state in the US, you'll have to start with 1 followed by the area code followed by the number i.e. 1-929-123-4567 where 929 is an area code for New York City.

2. Receiving Calls

To receive calls from Kenya when roaming abroad, your callers will dial your Safaricom number as they would normally i.e. 07XX XXXXXX

All other callers outside Kenya, including those in the country one is roaming in, will reach you by calling your number in the international format i.e. +254 7XX XXXXXX

How to Use SMS and Data When Roaming

To send an SMS when roaming to a person back in Kenya, within the visited country or another country, use the International Format of their numbers. To receive SMS when roaming your senders will likewise enter your number in the International Format.

Using data requires no additional steps; you only have to enable your mobile data as you normally would while in Kenya. Data can however can be charged from your airtime or from roaming bundles in select countries.

Safaricom International Roaming Rates

Safaricom roaming services are charged separately from the services provided locally when in Kenya. Therefore, any existing minutes, data and SMS bundles one has prior to roaming cannot be used while roaming abroad. The same applies for products redeemed from Bonga Points and Tunukiwa offers.

The roaming charges are typically expensive and tend to vary depending on the visited network (e.g. AT & T calling rates will be different from those of T-Mobile when roaming in the US).

The Safaricom rates can be categorized into two plans:
  • Safaricom Roaming Tariffs
  • Safaricom Roaming Bundles

The availability of the roaming bundles will however depend on country.

Safaricom Roaming Tariff

The Safaricom roaming tariff covers rates for the following services:
  • Calls within the roaming country
  • Calls to Kenya
  • Calls to other countries
  • Calls to satellite networks
  • Receiving voice calls
  • SMS
  • Data

The roaming customer is charged for receiving calls as all calls have to be first transferred to Kenya. This is however NOT a reverse call as the callers will likewise be charged normally depending on whether they are calling from within the visited country or the home country.

Callers from the home country (i.e. Kenya) are charged the normal rates since the roaming customer is charged the international part for receiving the call. Callers within the visited country are on the other hand charged international call rates for calling the roaming customer.

Take note that the correct mobile and telephone number formats should be dialled to ensure calls are successful while roaming. You can find out more on how to do this on using roaming with Safaricom.

How to Check Safaricom Roaming Tariff Rates

To check the roaming rates, go to Safaricom's roaming site and select the continent followed by the country where you'll be travelling. You can also view the tariff rates via mySafaricom app by going to Services > Roaming Services > Roaming Tariff.

By default, the results will load with the rates of the preferred network (e.g. AT & T in the US). To view other preferred networks, click on the Roaming Partners tab or scroll down the page if you're viewing the page on mobile.
safaricom roaming rates
Roaming Tariff for AT & T Network (US)

You'll notice that the rates from the preferred networks (partner networks) are subsidized compared to those from the Other Networks. As such, ensure that you're connected to the preferred networks to reduce your roaming costs.

Use manual network search if you want to override the automatically chosen network.

Safaricom Roaming Bundles

Safaricom provides three roaming bundles that include:
  • East Africa (EA) Roaming Bundles
  • Vodafone / Vodacom Roaming Bundle
  • Data Roaming Bundles

These bundles can be purchased by dialling *100*3# and selecting Safaricom Roaming > Purchase Roaming Bundles or via mySafaricom App by going to Services > Roaming Services

1. East Africa (EA) Roaming Bundles

The EA Roaming Bundles allow Safaricom prepaid and postpaid customers roaming in Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda to call and receive calls, send and receive SMS and use Data at subsidized rates.

These bundles are however only applicable when calling and texting Safaricom customers in Kenya and subscribers of the partner networks in the participating countries. The partner networks include:
  • Uganda Telcom Network (UTL)
  • MTN Uganda
  • Vodacom Tanzania Network
  • MTN Rwanda

The EA Roaming Bundles are available in the following categories:
  • Voice Bundles
  • SMS Bundles
  • Internet Data Bundles
  • Receiving Calls Bundles

The individual bundles and their pricing is as follows:
Voice BundlePrice  (KSh)MinutesValidity (Days)
SMS BundlePrice  (KSh)SMSValidity (Days)
Data BundlePrice  (KSh)Data (MB)Validity (Days)
Receiving Calls BundlePrice  (KSh)BundleValidity (Days)
Rates as of: July 2019

2. Vodafone / Vodacom Roaming Bundle

This roaming bundle is only valid in some select countries where the partner network is Vodafone or Vodacom e.g. Ghana, DRC, South Africa. There is currently only one bundle in this package:
Vodafone / Vodacom Bundle
Outgoing Minutes10
Validity24 Hours
Rates as of: July 2019

3. Safaricom Data Roaming Bundles

Normally data is charged on the airtime per MB however Safaricom does offer Data Roaming Bundles which can be used in select countries while on particular partner networks.

These data bundles can also be purchased by dialling *100*50# for prepaid customers and *200*50# for postpaid customers.

When purchasing this bundle via USSD, you'll be prompted to enter the country where you intend to use the roaming bundles. You'll not be able to complete the purchase if it happens the country you entered is not amongst the select countries.

The bundles are as follows:


Rates as of: July 2019

The above roaming bundles take precedence over the EA Bundles and Vodafone / Vodacom Bundle if both are subscribed to at the same time.

How to Change Your Mobile Number to Another Network

Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is a system which allows a mobile subscriber to change networks while retaining the same number. So for instance you can port (i.e. switch) a Safaricom number to the Airtel or Telkom Kenya network without losing your number.

MNP has been active in Kenya since the year 2011 when it went live however it has been rocked with controversies and technical glitches that made the process frustrating for interested subscribers.

Nevertheless, the system is still active years later and the good news is that most of the technical problems experienced initially are now far less common. That said, to ensure a smooth and successful porting it is essential that subscribers follow the porting process carefully as we outline below.

What to Do Before Porting

port number

Before initiating a porting request make sure you do the following first:

1. Use up your airtime, bundles or any other packages you may have otherwise they will be forfeited on porting.

2. Redeem any loyalty points you may have accrued from your current operator i.e.
You can also opt to transfer your Zawadi Points or Bonga Points to another number if redeeming is not an option.

3. Clear any outstanding advance credit that the number might have from one of the following services:
  • Okoa Jahazi on Safaricom
  • Kopa Credo on Airtel Kenya
  • PEWA on Telkom Kenya
Failure to do this will cause the porting request to fail.

4. Settle any bills you may have from the operator if you're using a post-paid tariff.

5. Withdraw all the cash that you may have in your mobile money account i.e. M-PESA, Airtel Money or T-Kash.

6. Backup any contacts or messages that are stored in the SIM Card that you'd wish to keep.

How to Port Your Number

Once you've done the above, you can proceed to make the porting request as follows:

1. First visit a shop of the network you wish to switch your number to e.g. an Airtel Shop if you're switching your Safaricom or Telkom Number to Airtel.

2. At one of the shop agents, make the porting request and you'll be given an MNP form to fill.

3. Provide your National ID for registration. You can alternatively provide any of the following documents:
  • Valid Passport
  • Military identity card
  • Work Permit
  • Alien card
  • Valid driving license
  • National ID card issued by parent country

4. Buy a new SIM Card that will retain your number.

5. Send an SMS with the word HAMA to the number 1501 on your old line.

6. Wait to receive a confirmation SMS on a successful move. If the request is not successful contact the mobile operator, you are switching to for assistance.

The moving process is however not immediate and may take up to two working days not counting the weekend or public holidays. As such plan accordingly to avoid inconveniences when porting your number.

How to Activate Call Barring on Airtel or Telkom Kenya

Airtel and Telkom Kenya do not provide call barring activation codes like Safaricom. Instead they advise their subscribers to activate the call barring via the call settings provided in their handsets.

Most mobile devices from feature phones to smartphones running Android include call barring settings though it could be under a different name such as call blocking or call filter.

To enable call barring for this two networks, follow the instructions below for Android phones.

Activating Call Barring Settings on Android Phones

The call barring settings on Android phones are usually located either in the Phone app  or in the Settings. This is the stock (default) phone app that your phone came with and not any other dialler app that you may have installed from the playstore.

1. Via the Phone App

1. Open the Phone app and on the top right of the screen tap on the three vertical dots and select Settings or tap on the menu button and select Settings.
phone settings
Open Phone Settings

2. Next navigate to one of the following locations depending on your phone:
  • Call > More settings > Call Barring
  • Call > Additional Settings > Call Barring > Voice call
  • More Settings > Call Barring > Select SIM Card
  • Calling Accounts > Select SIM Card > GSM Call Settings > Call Barring

ii. Via the System Settings

Open the Settings then go to one of the following locations depending on your device:
  • Call > Call Barring Settings
  • Call > Operator's Call Related Settings > Call Barring / Restriction
  • Call Settings > Additional Settings > Call barring settings
barring settings
Call Barring Settings

Once here you can bar (block) calls in the following categories:
  • All Outgoing Calls
  • All Outgoing International Calls
  • All Outgoing International Roaming Calls
  • All Incoming Calls
  • All Incoming Roaming Calls
call barring types
Outgoing and Incoming Calls Barring

When prompted for a password enter 0000. That's the usually the default password assuming it hasn't been changed before. If it rejects that one try 1234.

If you want to disable the call barring, in the same menu you can deactivate (cancel) all or specific barring categories.

  • The call barring settings are linked to your line (SIM Card) via your mobile network operator and not your phone. Therefore if you change phones, the call barring settings will be still be in effect until you disable them.
  • Dialling ##002# does NOT deactivate call barring but instead clears all call forwading (call divert) settings.
  • Should you get an error message when activating or deactivating any of the call barring settings please contact customer care for assistance.