I got an email the other day that announced that McNelly SoftWorks had won an award: “The Small Business Commerce Association (SBCA) is pleased to announce that McNelly Softworks LLC has been selected for the 2009 Best of Business Award.” I thought that was interesting considering that McNelly SoftWorks really doesn’t do much anymore. I started the company many (many, many) years ago and it offers two software products but really only sells one (and sells that one poorly at that).

I knew it was a scam as soon as I read further: “Best of Business Award in the Computer software tape and disks: blank, rigid, and floppy category.” Um, McNelly isn’t in the software tape and disks market – so I knew whoever awarded this award really didn’t know ANYTHING about my company.

Here’s the text of the message:

I started looking around to try to see if this message had anything in it that would help me understand the nature of the scam, but it didn’t look funky at all. I went to their web site and noticed that it was just a front for what looked like a fake organization. As soon as I saw the announcement that the company was funded by the Federal Government (in very poor English) I knew I had a confirmed scam. I searched around the Internet and found the following link: http://www.scam.com/showthread.php?p=806477 explaining the source of the scam.

Apparently they give out these ‘awards’ and charge you an exorbitant fee for a plaque you can display in your place of business. I wonder how many unsuspecting people get duped by these guys or how many pay the fee for the plaque and don’t know any better.

Anyway, too funny – I’m so tired of people calling me or sending me unsolicited email messages (in direct violation of US Federal Law mind you) without actually knowing anything about me or my business. I’m sure they assume I’m some small to medium sized business rather than one guy working out of his basement, but it’s ridiculous that people fall for these kind of things. I guess if you’re a growing business that things like this would look good on your wall, but you have to know it’s a shady deal if you’ve never heard of the organization and their web site is so lame. The good news is that you can go to their site and register for the 2010 awards – maybe you’ll win one too.

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