July 29, 2021

Fraudsters Use SpaceX’s Starlink to Scam Desperate Internet Users in Iran

(Credit: Starlinkiran.com)

Desperate for Starlink? Well, watch out for fake websites pretending to offer the service.

The massive demand for SpaceX’s satellite internet system is starting to attract scammers out to exploit the need for high-speed broadband.

A look-alike Starlink website written in Persian has gone up at the domain Starlinkiran[.]com, which was noticed by users on Twitter and Reddit. The site is targeting Iranians with claims you can place an order for the beta version of the internet service.

However, the website is almost certainly a scam. To subscribe to Starlink, the same domain asks you to pay in Bitcoin. First, you must fill out a form with your name, email, mailing address, and phone number. The site says it’ll then follow up with a separate email on how to pay.

“Payments for Iran are made completely confidentially through Bitcoin!” the site claims.

The process is different from the official Starlink website at Starlink.com, which simply lets you use a credit card to place your order. The fake Iran Starlink website also prices the internet service at $49 a month, and $249 for the hardware—which is significantly lower than the $99 per month, $499 one-time fee from the official Starlink website.

Nevertheless, the fake website may have been able to fool internet users in Iran desperate to receive high-speed broadband. SpaceX’s Starlink is being designed to offer internet speeds from 50Mbps to 150Mbps to almost any location on the planet, including rural and remote regions.

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It remains unclear if the real Starlink service will ever arrive in Iran. SpaceX is aiming to make the satellite internet service available across the globe. But to do so, it’ll need to secure regulatory approval for any given country’s government.

To safe stay, we recommend you rely on the official Starlink.com website to place orders for the internet service. The domain currently has five region options for users based in the US, Canada, France, Austria, and Germany. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has also indicated Starlink will one day be offered through third-party telecommunication carriers. But again, those sales should occur through official channels, not via shady look-alike websites asking for Bitcoin.

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