Buying a brand new or second-hand mobile can be risky. This is because the phone may be counterfeit or may have been reported lost or stolen, this therefore means that the IMEI may be blocked rendering the phone useless.
In order to avoid this risk, a buyer can validate a phone’s status from the CAK (Communications Authority of Kenya)
The communications Authority of Kenya maintains a database of approved mobile phone brands and models and can therefore be very useful when one wants to check the validity of any phone.
To do this, the buyer can check the phone details from a list of approved communication equipment from the communications Authority of Kenya website, http://ca.go.ke/index.php/type-approval .Mobile phones are categorized under PART 3: TYPE APPROVED GSM, ETACS AND FIXED WIRELESS TELEPHONES.
Another way of validating the phone details and status is by sending an SMS to 1555 from any other phone. The SMS content should be 15 digit IMEI number which is gotten by dialing *#06# on the phone in question.
One can send up to three SMSs for FREE!
The response SMS contains: Name of company (manufacturer) and Phone model
Other things to note while buying a phone is that the CAK does not allow phone manufacturers to give a Warranty of less than 6 months. Therefore beware of new phones with warranty periods of less than 6 months.
Also one should note that the CAK oversees phones operating in Kenya therefore one should beware of suspicious sites on the internet that could give incorrect information