Cheating in SOTA

I regret having to pen this message on the SOTA reflector. However, I feel our community need some answers regarding a recent case of cheating.

I am aware of a case of cheating that took place on Sunday 03/03/2024 which has been reported to the MT, who are currently reviewing it. In my honest opinion what was witnessed and reported is clearly admissable evidence in this case of SOTA cheating.

This serious breach of the rules regarding operation in a vehicle, well outside the activation zone, needs to be clearly exposed as a deterrent to others, along with the sanctions imposed.

For the consideration and to preserve the morale of the SOTA community I send this message.

I look forward to an open response from the MT in the near future.

73 Phil G4OBK


That possibiliity that someone was cheating makes me sad.

Bruce, VA7SGY


Many people have probably already made unconscious mistakes when activating … (ambiguity at the AZ, hiking closed summits on paths without signs,…)
… and I also once activated a summit in FL/VO-… along with other bands on 60m, although 60m for /p was not yet permitted at that time…but only next year. (I deleted the QSOs and informed the chasers and apologized)

Cheating is a harsh word… but if it is obvious and provable… then I think a warning would be appropriate. Yellow card…

73 Armin


I sincerely hope that it’s “Much adoe about Nothing”

73 Chris


The only people who they are cheating is themselves… its pretty simple really!

If their cheating is publicised, then they will rapidly run out of chasers, as they just wont bother! like anything in life that can be seen as a competition, people will sadly always feel the need to cheat…



Honestly, Phil, that wording suggests that you don’t trust the MT.

A serious accusation has been made. It presents several puzzling features. It is being thoroughly investigated and any necessary action will be taken, just as has happened on other fortunately rare occasions.


You beat me to it Alan.

SOTA is not a competion against others rather a challenge to the individual.

I wonder if Phil’s example was a POTA activator (where car operation is allowed), trying SOTA for the first time who hasn’t read or understood the rules. A direct email offering advice may be a better approach however from the wording style of Phil’s report, it sounds to me like this person knew they were not operating within the rules.

73 Ed.


These SOTA activators are not only cheating themselves, they are also cheating the chasers and SWLers as chaser/SWL points are not valid for any SOTA activations where cheating has been proven.

Jimmy M0HGY


Personally I find this thread quite sad that the accusation has been posted on a public forum, the manner in which the letter is written and the demands on the management team to reply.
As 2E0JWA and DD5LP have said the only person being cheated is themselves as they are the only ones that know the cheating is taking place or maybe it’s an op new to sota. cheating takes place every day in all walks of life sota is a hobby to be enjoyed and yes if cheating occurs then it has to be addressed and I am confident that the management team do not need to and will not be harrased into releasing a public notice and they will address this matter with the upmost confidence and the accused person or persons dealt with appropriately. It saddens me that the management team who give up so much of their time to constructing and maintaining a website which runs almost faultless have to deal with a matter which could have been done at the time. There’s nothing better than catching the offender red handed and telling them they are being reported.


here we go again, moan moan moan, i had a bit of trouble i think must be coming close to two yrs ago , and my accuser wanted it all out in the open that i stole his contact , then i logged it becaused i genuinely thought i did work it but some folk when they get the bit between their teeth they just go for it, in my case it resulted in disgust and dismay as i felt it went too far and i was treated like a leper and this was no fun, i shortly afterwords gained the number one spot on sota in scotland , it was with great sadness i decided , to give up all together as there were still comments being made, so i am sota free now and forever all brought about by comments made publicly on the forum, so no it should not be public ,are we in the business of naming and shaming?
THIS IS NOT A COURT ROOM , and should not be used to name and shame ,
everyone makes mistakes and folk should be more tolerant and forgiving, concentrate on the important things in life instead of witch hunts, keep it private moderators and dont be shoved around by folk intent in causing trouble for others, just for the record , i do miss sota , good luck with the case …ooops sorry good luck with the dispute.


There are two issues here.
As others have said, the only person being cheated here is the one carrying it out. It is quite right to bring this matter to the attention of the. MT. We need to maintain standards.

In my opinion, it is not right, some days later, to then raise the matter on a public forum with a statement full of inuendos. Let the MT consider and act as appropriate.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

The matter is in hand and is being dealt with by the MT. Please don’t speculate as it only will make things harder for the MT to deal with this. Everyone is entitled to a fair hearing and due to the MT being located in many timezones, discussion takes time. Someone from the MT will make a statement as soon as it is agreed.

I am going to suspend this thread until that statement is posted. Please don’t start another thread to discuss this as that will only bring Brian as moderator into play and he may well moderate the posters not the thread.


The person accused has admitted they operated from their car and have apologised for this.

The activation has been deleted.

The MT is happy with this outcome and will not be identifying the activator involved.

The MT consider the matter resolved and closed.