How to report or prevent fraud

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Pacific Northwest Region - Feb. 5, 2021

u s small business administration
Beware of malicious COVID-19 phishing

 

1. What is Fraud, Waste and Abuse?


Misuse, mismanagement or misconduct involving SBA programs or employees is taken very seriously by the SBA. The SBA Office of Inspector General (OIG) focuses on preventing and investigating reports of fraud, waste, and abuse -- issues that harm the public’s trust and ultimately hurt the small business community.

Video: SBA fraud explained



2. How to Report Fraud Connected to SBA Programs


The SBA is committed to public funds going to eligible small businesses and being used as intended. If you suspect someone is misusing SBA programs for personal gain, please submit a complaint online to the SBA Office of Inspector General (OIG) Hotline. This includes Coronavirus Relief programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program administered by the SBA.

Submit a complaint



3. Tips to Avoid Scams and Fraud Schemes


Phishing emails
Bad actors are using government logos in phishing emails in an attempt to steal account information. Email image links lead to websites impersonating federal agencies. Please note that any email from the SBA will come from accounts ending in sba.gov.

Excessive fees
If you are contacted by someone promising to get approval of an SBA loan, but requires any payment up front or offers a high interest bridge loan in the interim, suspect fraud. Additionally, the SBA limits the fees a broker can charge a borrower. Any attempt to charge more than these fees is inappropriate.

Read more

 

4. Resources for Identity Theft Assistance


The challenges that COVID-19 has brought include a higher risk of identity theft. In 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received approximately 1.4 million reports of identity theft, double the number from 2019.

As part of Identity Theft Awareness Week Feb. 1-5, the SBA shares steps you can take should someone use your personal information to apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). In addition to filing an online compliant with the SBA OIG and notifying the SBA Office of Disaster Assistance, follow steps directed by the FTC.

FTC identify theft resolution

 

5. Strengthen Your Business' Cybersecurity


Cyber attacks are a growing threat for small businesses and the U.S. economy. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report, the cost of cybercrimes reached $2.7 billion in 2018 alone. Small businesses are attractive targets because they have information that cybercriminals want, and they typically lack the security infrastructure of larger businesses.

The SBA provides resources to help you learn about common cyber threats, understand where your business is vulnerable, and take steps to improve your cybersecurity. 

Protect your business

 

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