FTC Warns of New COVID-19 Scam Targeting Small Businesses

The Federal Trade Commission is asking small businesses to be on the lookout for a new coronavirus-related scam that's making its rounds.

Posted: Jan 13, 2021 2:35 PM

According to officials with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there's a new coronavirus-related scam making its rounds, and it's targeting small businesses.

As Lesley Fair, a Division of Consumer and Business Education Attorney with the FTC, explains, the scam starts with an email that claims to come from the "Small Business Administration Office of Disaster Assistance."

Fair explains that the fraudulent email tells the recipient they're eligible to receive a loan of up to $250,000 and asks for personal information.

Here are some indicators outlined by the FTC that reveal the email as a fake:

  • You were told that you’re automatically eligible for a big loan.
    •  According to the FTC, real lenders never do this.
  • You’re asked to hand over your date of birth and Social Security number.
    • This is a tip-off that the sender is trying to steal your personal information.

"Check out lenders before sharing personal information. Scammers who impersonate lenders have the perfect excuse to ask you for lots of personal information that can be used to steal your identity," Fair advises. "Don’t leave a trail of personal information exposed by filling out lots of applications online with lenders you don’t know. Investigate lenders first and if you spot something amiss, stop."

COVID-19 fraud, scams, or bad business practices can be reported to the FTC. File a report by clicking here.

Stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus information and more by downloading the 44News mobile app on the Google Play Store or in the Apple App Store

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It was another cool, though overall pleasant day across the Tri-State - after only seeing temperatures dive as low as 22° early this morning, peak temperatures ended up climbing a few degrees higher than Thursday's; that being said, Evansville’s high temperature of 27° Was still 15° below average for this time of the year. As for the evening ahead, temperatures will gradually fall for 23° around dinner time back down to 19° by10 PM. A weak northerly wind flow most of the night paired with our crystal clear skies will cause temperatures to of fall back down into the mid to low teens once again - Evansville's anticipated low temperature of 12° will mark or coolest since the morning of January 7th.
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