Airtel Uganda: How to Block Lost or Stolen SIM card

Airtel money agent

Phones these days are more than communication devices these days. As such, losing your phone can be a nightmare, especially if you have sensitive data and contacts you don’t want to fall in the wrong hands.

Additionally, most Ugandans are unbanked and depend on mobile money for money transfers and savings. That’s why it’s important to safeguard and/or block your SIM card data before the unexpected happens or as soon as possible after you realize your phone is missing.

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For this reason, we have come up with a number of ways you can safeguard your contacts, messages and Airtel Money and get your SIM card blocked as soon as possible;

Put a PIN on your SIM card

This is a preventive measure that you should take before anything bad happens. I need to punch in a PIN every time you turn on my phone or switch SIM cards. It can be a nuisance considering I always need a SIM PIN and also a phone PIN to access my phone, but it’s a layer of security I cannot do without. A PIN prevents unauthorized users from accessing my SIM cards. To set up a PIN on your SIM card, follow these steps:

  • Go to your phone’s settings.
  • Tap on “Security” or “Lock screen and security”.
  • Tap on “SIM card lock”.
  • Enter a four-digit PIN of your choice.
  • Tap on “OK”.

Now you have a PIN on your SIM card. Having been a victim of a phone snatch in transit, I know that the first thing thieves do is switch off your phone. This will actually work in your favor. Once they do this, they won’t be able to use your SIM card once they switch your phone back on.

But you must remember your PIN well and not share it with anyone. If you forget it, you might need to contact Airtel customer care to unlock your SIM card.

Using the USSD menu

This is a quick and easy way to block your SIM card using another Airtel phone. USSD allows you to access various options and information by dialing codes on your phone. To block your SIM card using the USSD menu, follow these steps:

  • Dial *100# from another Airtel phone.
  • Select option 9 My Account.
  • Select option 3 SIM block.
  • Enter the number you want to block.
  • Enter the Airtel Money PIN of the affected number.

Your SIM card will be blocked immediately and you will receive a confirmation message to that effect.

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Read more: Airtel eSim Cards: The Ultimate Guide to Obtaining Airtel eSim Cards in Uganda

Using the customer care or Airtel store

You can still block your SIM card by calling the customer care outright or visit the nearest Airtel store. To block your SIM card using the customer care, follow these steps:

  • Call Airtel’s toll-free helpline on 100 from an Airtel number or 0705100100 from another network.
  • Request to speak to a customer care executive and explain your situation.
  • Verify your identity by providing details like last recharge amount, National ID number e.t.c.
  • Once verified, your SIM card will be blocked.
    To block your SIM card using the Airtel store, follow these steps:
  • Locate the nearest Airtel store in your area.
  • Talk to an agent there and provide your details like National ID proof, date of birth, etc to get your SIM card blocked.

Via the official Airtel Twitter DM

This is another method that I have personally tried out and it worked for me. I can’t guarantee that it will still work though considering I used it a couple of years ago. If you have a Twitter account and you follow Airtel Uganda, you can send them a direct message (DM) and ask them to block your SIM card for you.

They will ask you for some proof of ownership, such as your national ID number or the last recharge amount. To block your SIM card on Twitter Airtel DMs, follow these steps:

  • Log in to your Twitter account.
  • Go to Airtel Uganda’s profile page (@AIRTEL_UG).
  • Click on the message icon to send them a DM.
  • Explain that you have lost your phone and you want to block your SIM card.
  • Provide them with the number you want to block and any other information they might ask for, usually the National ID.

They will respond to you as soon as possible and block your SIM card for you.

These are some of the ways you can protect and block your SIM card in case of loss or theft of your phone. Remember to act fast and not to panic. You can always get a new SIM card with the same number from any Airtel store after blocking the old one. However, this requires a police letter acknowledging the theft.


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