If you have worked with your West Banker to obtain a SBA PPP loan, we want you to be wary of related scams that seek to trick you into revealing your personal identifying information and bank accounts. There is a lot of money involved in the Paycheck Protection Program and scammers are looking for a piece of it. A recent lawsuit against the SBA resulted in the release of public data about Paycheck Protection Program borrowers – their names, addresses, exact loan amounts, and their lenders. This has created an irresistible opportunity for fraudsters to lure you in and take advantage of you.
Most often criminals will send you an email that looks like it might be from a government agency or the bank. Remember that it is easy for cyber criminals to copy logos and make emails and spoofed websites look official. Look for spelling errors and suspicious-looking email addresses and signature files that can tip you off to a scam.
Usually the fake email contains a link that, once clicked, will lead you to a fraudulent website or install malware on your computer. They will try to get you to log in to a spoofed SBA site and steal your credentials. DO NOT CLICK ON LINKS IN THESE EMAILS! Even if you think the email might be legitimately from the SBA, the safe practice is to go directly to the SBA website at https://www.sba.gov/ and search for the information you seek.
Of course, never share account information through unsecured email. A legitimate organization will never ask you to send your account information or credentials via regular email.
If you have questions about your PPP loan or why the SBA might be sending an email to you, please contact your West Banker who will be happy to help you.