Feds are warning the public about new phishing scams.
Report suspicious COVID-19 activity to the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or fill out a form at Justice.gov/DisasterComplaintForm.
The SBA doesn’t reach out to businesses for relief.
The CARES Act is the largest relief bill to date and scammers are hoping for a payday too.
(NewsReady.com) – There’s always going to be a shyster looking to take advantage of a situation. We’ve seen that a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic. Government agencies are constantly warning Americans about scammers who want to steal their money and personal information. The latest scheme targets small business owners.
SBA Loan Program
When Congress passed the CARES Act in March, they allocated $349 billion to help small businesses. Companies with 500 employees or less were able to ask the Small Business Administration (SBA) for emergency loans to help stay afloat during the pandemic. The money quickly ran out and lawmakers had to pass another stimulus package to replenish the funds.
Unfortunately, scammers are looking to get in on the action.
On May 1, the US State Attorney’s Office for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia, the SBA and FBI issued a warning about scams. According to a press release, criminals are targeting business owners with “phishing attacks and scams utilizing the SBA logo.”
The phishing attacks are meant to obtain the personal and banking information of targets. The offenders may also infect the computers of their victims with malware or ransomware. Business owners should only respond to “.gov” emails. Federal authorities also reminded Americans they will never ask for money in an email.
Other Scams to Look Out For
In addition to the phishing scam, the SBA is keeping track of a number of others to keep an eye out for.
- Any email, phone call, or letter claiming to be the SBA and offering grants. The administration never initiates contact.
- People promising to get business owners an approved SBA loan but only if they receive payment upfront.
- Brokers who charge borrowers more than 2% for loans of $50,000 to $1,000,000 or more than 3% for loans of $50,000 and under.
Just remember, the SBA will not initiate contact with you and all email correspondence will end in “.gov” when you speak to the administration online. Knowledge is power. You don’t want to become some low-life’s next victim. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
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