Small businesses have been hit extremely hard by the COVID pandemic. Due to lockdowns and restrictions, many small businesses are hurting. In return, many have closed for good. The entire world is struggling and unfortunately, criminals don’t prey on those who have it good. Recently, COVID small business scams have been making the rounds. Thieves are taking advantage of those in need by pretending to be a helping hand. In actuality, they are driving the knife in deeper.
What are the newest COVID Small Business Scams?
The latest small business COVID-related scam to hit the streets involves email phishing. A small business owner will receive an email which claims to be sent from the “Small Business Administration Office of Disaster Assistance”. The email states that the small business owner is eligible for a loan, up to as much as $250,000. You will be asked for personal information such as your Social Security number and date of birth.
How Do I Spot This Fake Email Scam?
- The email says you’re automatically eligible for a large loan. This doesn’t happen in the real world. As nice as it would be, lenders don’t go around trying to give away money unsolicited.
- The IRS or any federal administration will never call or email you out of the blue.
- You were asked to provide very sensitive information. Any email or text message, especially an unsolicited one, asking for something such as your Social Security number is an instant red flag. This is a tip-off that you’re a target for identity theft.
If you are in need of assistance, there are many avenues to pursue. However, you should vet the lenders you are considering before providing any personal information. The Small Business Administration is a great place to start. Their website is www.sba.gov. If you aren’t careful, you could become a victim of one of the COVID small business scams. These are tough times and we wish the best for you and your business.