A new scam targeting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan recipients appears to be an email from the Small Business Administration (SBA). The email, below, includes the SBA logo and asks the recipient to download, sign, and return the documents.
While PPP loans are funded by the SBA through a federal CARES Act appropriation, the loans are provided through financial institutions, including First Interstate Bank. Borrowers work directly with the bank, not SBA, and will not be contacted by the SBA to sign or submit any documents.
Clients whose PPP loan are through First Interstate will receive their loan note from First Interstate as a DocuSign form they can digitally sign and return.
Here are some tips from the SBA to help avoid this or other SBA-related scams.
- The SBA doesn’t offer grants to small business owners. The agency won’t contact you making such an offer.
- Don't release any private information (especially Social Security numbers, credit card information, or banking information) in response to an unsolicited call, letter, or email.
- Legitimate government entities will have websites and emails that end with .gov such as www.sba.gov. (The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office issued a cease and desist order to the company SBA.com for deceptive marketing and business practices related to PPP loans. This is not a legitimate site.)