Award Scam

I have been writing software for nearly 20 years now and used to have some very successful software on the market back in the days when there were only a few Shareware Sites. Back then when you submitted software to a site that offered a rating you could feel confident in the knowledge that a real person was going to install and try your software and give a fairly honest review, either a written review, an Award, or both.

In July 2008 I spent quite a lot of time submitting Pic-A-Shot and Picture Slots to various Shareware Download sites and immediately had my suspicions about the honesty of some of them. The first site I submitted to,, seemed to have a human being looking at the software (which is great) and gave it a 5 Star Rating - Cool. also actually installed the software before listing on their site. Some of the other sites I submitted to gave me a 5 Star Rating also but within just a few minutes of my submitting. There is no way that the award system on a lot of sites isn't an automated process which simply issues a 5 Star Rating to every bit of junk they receive.

My suspicions were further aroused when I came a across a bit of software called AutoMe which claimed to be "Award Winning", and "Editors Choice", etc. I downloaded the software and found it to be awful and it simply didn't work. On the authors sites it clearly said "Editors Pick" at, so I visited the to see why the "Editors Pick" was awarded and discovered that it had not been awarded at all.

Bottom lime for you as a software consumer is that you can't believe all the awards you see, on this site or any others, unless they came from reputable shareware sites. You also can't believe what an author displays on their web site as an award because it is easy to download an award and then upload it to your web site and say "look at the awards I've gotten". Sometimes it just isn't true.

There are sites out there who look at the software before it is listed, is a perfect example, however if you want them to rate your software you have to give them lots of money - which I'm not prepared to do as I'm only a single operator with no massive advertising budget behind me.

During my search around the Internet for information on these scams I came across this interesting article. The guy actually created a crap application that did nothing, submitted it to a lot of sites and won heaps of awards for it. It just proves what I have been saying, doesn't it!

I would like to point out that not all shareware sites are bogus, some are very good and you can trust them. Others are simply trying to get links back to their sites so that they can display more advertisements and make a few dollars. Nothing wrong with making a little bit of money off the internet but I think it's fair to say that "doing it honestly is the preferred method".