As the coronavirus continues to plague the nation, states have come up with their own versions of stay at home orders for us to follow. There have also been several small businesse… Read More
During the coronavirus, businesses have been struggling to keep their companies afloat due to shutting down in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Because of this, companies are left in financial distress and many of its employees are stuck filing for temporary unemployment until their business opens back up. Because of this, the Small Business Association (SBA) has put together a program to help employees and small businesses in need of extra financial help called the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). However, with this new program comes a series of PPP scams that businesses should look out for.
According to the SBA, the PPP is a loan that gives a direct incentive to small businesses for keeping their workers on the payroll. The SBA will forgive these loans if all of the company’s employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money from the loan is used to pay for rent, mortgage interest, utilities, or payroll.
Where can you apply?: You can apply through any SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, or any Farm Credit System institution that is participating.
Small businesses in all 50 states and territories are applying to PPP loans, due to being desperate for money during these hard times. They have been shut down due to the coronavirus and because of that, they were in need of extra help. The data table below shows how many businesses in each state got approved for a PPP loan, and how much each state has given out just because of these loans.
As you can see from this data table, the top 5 states/territories that have needed to approve more loans and have given more money are Texas ($21,776,306,479), California ($20,853,495,045), Florida ($12,656,107,018), Illinois ($12,503,648,850), and New York ($11,737,950,918). The 5 states/territories that has given the least amount of money and approved loans to businesses are Puerto Rico ($319,308,946), Guam ($53,659,254), Virgin Islands ($13,116,530), Northern Marianas ($7,540,546), and American Samoa ($389,500).
Because there are so many small businesses in all states and territories that are desperate in getting this loan, scammers have found a way to take advantage of them and steal their hard-earned funds. They know that many businesses will fall for their scams because they are willing to do whatever it takes to get their hands on extra cash to help their businesses survive. Therefore, they have come up with many types of scams in order to trick businesses into giving them their hard-earned buck.
The phishing scam is when you get a fake email claiming to be from the SBA, stating that you can apply for the PPP Loan and help your small business. The email provides you with a link, and it says to click on the link to provide your business’ information to get the loan.
However, once you click on the link it gives your device loads of malware and viruses and steals your confidential information that you gave them. With that confidential business information, they can then pretend to be you when applying for loans and other programs, and steal your finances. This would then ruin your business’ reputation when you try to apply to other programs.
Scammers contact you either by phone or email and claim that you need to pay a small fee in order to apply for a PPP Loan. They claim that you can even get your money sooner if you pay another additional fee to fast-track your application.
However, you can only get a PPP Loan through an approved site, and there is no fee or fast-track process that you need to follow. If anyone else tells you otherwise, then they are trying to scam you out of your hard-earned money.
Scammers call you pretending to be from the SBA and ask for confidential personal and business information, claiming they need it for your PPP Loan application. If you’ve already applied for a loan, the scammers will even say that they need it to verify their application in order to get their hands on your information. They then take your information and use it to steal funds from your bank accounts, or commit fraud with it.
The SBA will never call you to advertise their PPP Loan program or to verify your application, so if you get a call similar to this its most likely a scammer. Just hang up the call, block the caller, and avoid giving them your information.
Some PPP Loan applicants have requested more money than needed, lying about the number of businesses and employees working for them. There has even been some instances where someone requests money for a business that they don’t even own. There was even a case where a celebrity applied for a PPP loan, claiming that they needed $2M to pay all their employees. However, instead of paying them, the money was used for lavish jewelry.
There have been a few businesses that have claimed to be providers of the PPP application. They give you an application to fill out that asks for confidential business information that they claim they need to have to approve your business for a PPP Loan. Once you fill out the form however, that business has your personal and confidential information that they can use to steal your hard-earned funds.
If you feel like you were given a fake PPP Loan and realize your money and information were stolen, Social Catfish is here to help you! If you reverse search the suspect with a name, email address, phone number, username, or image we can track down more information on this person to see who it really is. Try out our search bar today!