Beware Starlink scammers in South Africa

South African households and businesses looking to subscribe to Starlink should be wary of a flood of alleged scammers pretending to sell the satellite Internet service online.

Starlink has not launched in South Africa, so ordering a kit for the service directly from its official website for delivery in South Africa is impossible.

However, the service can be used in South Africa with a roaming subscription registered in another country, provided you can import the kit from abroad.

There are several legitimate third-party businesses that handle imports on a customer’s behalf, including IcasaSePush and StarSat Africa.

Over the past few weeks, Facebook groups created for the growing community of Starlink users in South Africa have been flooded with suspicious posters claiming to sell dishes and routers from the service.

The prices for these products are in the tens of thousands of rand, which means falling for a scam could burn a deep hole in your pocket.

While many of the groups’ members were quick to smell a rat, some South Africans desperate for connectivity in rural areas might not be as scam-savvy.

Tell-tale signs of trouble

We saw a few red flags associated with many of the accounts that have recently started posting on these groups.

Firstly, several had fairly strange or generic names, were only created recently, and had zero or only a handful of friends.

Examples of suspicious accounts included Henry Davis, Phills Moore Morgan, Drella Mcintyres, and Dave Rehoming.

The latter’s profile said he was working at Starlink and resided in Philadelphia, but the Starlink kits he advertised were used by an Australian company called Spacetek.

The same picture was used by the profile Phills Moore Morgan, who only joined Facebook in September 2023, the earliest of any of the accounts.

Many of these users refused to share prices or other details on the groups, instead preferring that legitimate users send direct messages to discuss their offers.

A number of the accounts also closed comments on all their posts from the get-go, leaving no room for public scrutiny of their offerings.

Some also attached the same older pictures of Starlink kits taken by other users and found on various other places on the web while suggesting that this was their own stock.

One such image shared by the Henry Davis account still had a watermark in the bottom left corner.

Several of the photos of Starlink kits accompanying the posts also had signs that they were taken in other countries — including foreign licence plate numbers and text in foreign languages.

The wording of their Starlink ads were also similar or identical in different posts.

The wording on this post was found to be almost exactly the same on several other accounts. Turning off comments also appears to be a common theme.

There are also several suspicious websites selling Starlink in South Africa that have recently popped up with little to no track record.

This included My Starlink Shop/Starlink ZA (

The My Starlink Shop website had the clear intention of misleading users to believe it is the real Starlink website — including having Starlink copyright notices at the bottom and linking to some of the official pages on the Starlink website.

Starlink is highly sensitive to people using its name and official imagery to resell its services and has appointed a website takedown company specifically to protect its trademark.

The only way to confirm an order via My Starlink Shop is to pay directly into a bank account, which would make it difficult for anyone to get their money back if it turned out to be a scam.

The website also advertised the Gen 3 Starlink kit, which is only available to selected users in the US.

Those behind the shop have a Facebook page called Starlink ZA, with around 1,300 likes at the time of publication.

In one of its promoted posts, the page’s admins responded to a user asking about the legality of Starlink in South Africa using the exact wording from the website of IcasaSePush, which has proven to be among the handful of legitimate importers.

It is important to emphasise some of these websites might deliver on their promises.

MyBroadband has verified that Starlink AfricaX, which at first appeared to be a scam, had delivered kits for self-managed subscriptions to several users in South Africa, including well-known figures involved in rural charities.

When it comes to avoiding an online scam, there are some general guidelines to follow to avoid losing your money. These include:

  • Search online for reviews and ensure they were made by real users who can provide proof that they bought the product. In the case of Starlink, ask for a few speed tests with IDs, which you can search for again to verify times and dates of tests.
  • Avoid websites that offer only EFTs as a payment method. While not a definitive sign of a scam, fraudsters tend to use this payment method because they can withdraw the money before a bank acts against them.
  • Don’t make payments directly to people who only advertise their products on Facebook. The social media site is infamous for making it easy to create fake “burner” accounts used by fraudsters.
  • Look for contact details like a phone number and physical address. Verify that both are legitimate.

It is also important to note that Starlink has no official resellers in South Africa and only resells its business service in certain other countries. If a company claims to be an authorised reseller, you should immediately call that into question.

The service’s local roaming availability is deemed to be illegal by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa).

Although some companies can import the Starlink kit on your behalf, it is vital that you are given control over the account linked to your unit and that another company does not manage it.

If Starlink catches on to companies playing middle-man, it can block the account holding your subscription for violating its terms of service, rendering your kit useless.

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Beware Starlink scammers in South Africa