PPP loans have been rolling out since early April, with intermittent gaps related to funding of the program. Scammers, however, have been in full force since COVID-19 first hit the news. Businesses and consumers both have found themselves in the crosshairs of scammers looking to make a quick dollar.
Recently, I wrote two articles on how to avoid Covid19 scams; check out the first article and don’t miss the part 2 update. But following the recent approval of more funding for the PPP program, scammers are again targeting businesses with false information, impersonating the SBA, and in some cases, asking businesses to pay for information on the PPP program.
The FTC released some Do’s and Don’ts that are summarized below.
Dos and Don’ts to avoid PPP scams
- Go directly to the source – get all of your information about SBA loans directly from the SBA website: sba.gov/coronavirus
- Follow instructions – click on the “Funding Options” and follow the instructions
- Get more info – Get information about PPP and stimulus checks from the U.S. Treasury Department’s website
- Talk to your staff about scams – your staff will likely be the first to answer the phone or receive an email
- Check out my article on educating your employees on cybersecurity awareness. They will be glad you did, and your business will be more secure as a result
- Pay in advance for information– all of the information is freely available at sba.gov/coronavirus
- Pay in advance for a government loan – you do not have to pay up front to get an SBA loan
- Respond with sensitive information to unsolicited calls, texts, or emails
- The SBA will not call unsolicited to find out information about you or your business. If you receive an unexpected communication that you think is a scam, discard it.
- Click on links, or reply to emails/texts from someone you don’t know – this is one of the most effective ways criminals target your business
Wilson Bank and Trust is here for you. Should you need help, please do not hesitate to reach out to us online at wilsonbank.com, our mobile app, or call us at (844) WBT-BANK (844-928-2265).
Have another thought, tip or suggestion? Leave it in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!