Beware Softonic Download Scam

A user contacted us today, asking how they could download the full version of DeskSpace they had just purchased. When we couldn’t find their order details they sent us their order receipt, and we found that they hadn’t actually bought DeskSpace from us. Instead, they had been tricked into purchasing the DeskSpace trial version by Softonic, a European download site.

Softonic lets users download the trial version of DeskSpace via a link to the Otaku Software website. However, they also offer users the chance to “Download DeskSpace from Softonic” for $1.99 USD. This misleading language gives users the false impression that they can buy DeskSpace from Softonic for $1.99 USD. What users are actually purchasing is the ability to download the trial version of DeskSpace from Softonic’s servers.

Softonic Download Scam.

Softonic could avoid any confusion simply by offering the option to “Download DeskSpace Trial Version from Softonic”. Instead, they are using ambiguous phrasing to trick unsuspecting users into buying something they should never have to pay for.

Otaku Software is in no way affiliated with Softonic, and they are not authorized to resell our software. DeskSpace is only available for purchase from the Otaku Software Store, and via selected partners such as Bits du Jour.

We have contacted Softonic and requested that they either take down their DeskSpace download page or make it clear that paid downloads are only for the trial version of DeskSpace. I’ll update this post if/when we receive a response.

12 Responses to “Beware Softonic Download Scam”

  1. I’m amazed that Softonic has taken this step as it’s clearly extreemly confusing to users. I’d imagine that they will get a lot of complaints and be forced to take it down as it’s very misleading.

  2. You’re absolutely right. If they don’t take it down soon their reputation is also going to take a major hit.

  3. Tom Clarke says:

    Dear Otaku Software team,

    We are very sorry for any confusion caused. It was never our intention to mislead our users. As an immediate step we have deactivated the paid download option on our Deskspace download pages. As soon as possible, we will change the wording of the paid download option on all program pages to “Download trial version of %program_name% from Softonic” to make it clearer that you pay for getting the software from our server, not purchasing the full version. Thanks a lot for your feedback.

    Regards from the Softonic team in Barcelona

  4. Barr says:

    Looks like this is the case with nearly everything on the site. I’ve just paid to download something else which is a trial version. Avoid these scammers.

  5. Tom Clarke says:

    Hi there, short update: Our changes in the wording are already online as you can see on our site now. Again, we’d like to say sorry for any inconvenience caused. Tom at Softonic

  6. Tom: Thank you very much for your prompt response to this issue.

  7. Gustavo B. says:

    Softonic is absolutely a scam site whenever you try to download a trial software from the link of the original publisher in their site it will show a message like this:

    “The download link from the publisher’s site appears to be broken”
    “The file is always available through Softonic’s Deluxe Services”

    I made a test for 10 different programs.

    This is Bullshit… Don’t pay for trial software.

  8. margo ford says:

    I found this accidentally iin my Documents. I have been trying to find out what it is and how it got there.
    pls respond asap.

  9. margo: What did you find in your My Documents directory? DeskSpace?

  10. Lensman51 says:

    I had a pop-up to download a new version of IOBIT Security Free. I was taken to a free download on the Softronic Site. I clicked on the free IOBIT download button but was given a softtronic downloader program instead in what looks to be a deliberate intermediate step. Well I don’t trust this way of working, either I get a download update in the normal way or I don’t install. Looking round the Internet this site may be safe but if it does not feel right, my sentiment is to avoid.

  11. Lensman51 says:

    Whoops! I should put in a correction: I was updating the partner program: Advanced SystemCare 3 Free and was given SoftronicDownloader4480.exe when I clicked on the ‘Fee Download’ button on the Softronic site that I was taken to.

  12. Tom Clarke says:

    @Lensman51: Softonic no longer offers the pay-per-download option, except in the rare case that a free download link is no longer available.

    The Softonic Downloader is the most secure and the fastest way of downloading software from Softonic.

    By using multi-thread technology, our downloads are faster and always available to our users.

    Each file is checked for viruses and malware beforehand and we only add software from trusted developers to our website.

    Should you have any further questions, please don´t hesitate to contact us.