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Businesses Warned About Virus-Related Fraud Schemes

WASHINGTON, DC — Kitchen and bath design firms and residential remodelers are among the small businesses that are susceptible to potential fraud schemes related to economic stimulus programs offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration in response to COVID-19, the SBA warned this month.

The SBA’s Office of Inspector General, in warning about the potential fraud, released the following tips for business owners seeking to avoid loan fraud and phishing schemes:

• If you are contacted by someone promising to get approval of an SBA loan, but it requires payment up front or offers a high interest bridge loan in the interim, suspect fraud.

• If you are in the process of applying for an SBA loan and receive email correspondence asking for personally identifiable information (PII), ensure that the referenced application number is consistent with the actual application number.

• Be wary of phishing attacks/scams utilizing the SBA logo. These may be attempts to obtain your PII, to obtain personal banking access, or to install ransomware/malware on your computer.

• Any email communication from SBA will come from accounts ending with sba.gov.

• The presence of an SBA logo on a webpage does not guarantee that the information is accurate or endorsed by SBA. Cross-reference any information you receive with information available at sba.gov.

Additional information regarding potential COVID-19-related fraud is available by visiting sba.gov.

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