The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is reporting about a new Coronavirus related scam that is targeting the owners of small businesses who are receiving an email that purports to come from the “Small Business Administration Office of Disaster Relief.” The email informs the business owner that their business is approved for a loan of as much as $250,000. All that the small business owner needs to do to receive the loan is provide some personal information including the birth date and Social Security number of the small business owner.
Of course the email is a scam and anyone responding to the email by providing their personal informaiton will soon find that they have become a victim of identity theft.
Impostor scams in which the scammer poses as a government agency such as the IRS, the Social Security Administration or the Small Business Administration (SBA) are the basis of many scams in which they either lure you into clicking on links in infected emails and text messages that may download dangerous malware such as ransomware or alternatively require you to provide personal information that is used to make you a victim of identity theft
As I often warn you, “trust me, you can’t trust anyone.” Whenever you receive an email, phone call or text message, you can never be sure who is actually contacting you so you should never click on a link or provide personal informaiton unless you have absolutely verified that the communication is legitimate.
In regard to this particular scam, the SBA is not contacting anyone telling them that they are automatically eligibile for a loan for which they never applied. If you are a small business owner seeking a loan, the best place to look for information you can trust is the website of the Small Business Administration http://www.sba.gov where you can find all the information you need about legitimate Coronavirus relief programs.
For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.” Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
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