Fraud Alert For Thomas County Businesses
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 1, 2020 Contact: Vernon Hurd, Executive Director
FRAUD ALERT FOR THOMAS COUNTY BUSINESSES
Colby, Kansas -- Vernon Hurd, Executive Director of the Thomas County Economic Development Alliance has received reports from Thomas County business owners who have been contacted by individuals representing themselves as able to guarantee approval for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans if they engage their services. “In each instance,” Hurd said “the businesses were guaranteed approval once they completed the application and provided their banking information. They were told the banking information was necessary for upfront payment of the application fee and then also to receive direct deposit of the loan amount.”
The SBA does not initiate contact for disaster loans or grants. 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. SBA limits the fees a broker can charge a borrower to 3% for loans $50,000 or less and 2% for loans $50,000 to $1,000,000 with an additional 1⁄4% on amounts over $1,000,000. Any attempt to charge more than these fees is inappropriate.
Mr. Hurd stated, “If a business needs any assistance completing the application process for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan you should feel free to contact our office.” Mr. Hurd has completed training to provide technical assistance and receives regular updates about changes to the program. He may be reached at 785-460-4511.
Businesses are also cautioned to be aware of phishing scams. If you are in the process of applying for an SBA loan and receive email correspondence asking for PII, ensure that the referenced application number is consistent with the actual application number. Any email communication from SBA will come from accounts ending with sba.gov.
Look out for phishing attacks/scams utilizing the SBA logo. These may be attempts to obtain your personally identifiable information (PII),to obtain personal banking access, or to install ransomware/malware on your computer. The presence of an SBA logo on a webpage does not guarantee the information is accurate or endorsed by SBA. Please cross-reference any information you receive with information available at www.sba.gov.
Report any suspected fraud to the SBA Office of the Inspector General’s Hotline at 800-767-0385.