Member company KCoe Isom is alerting businesses that applied for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that they are vulnerable to fraud as a result of information compromised through a data hack.
The Small Business Administration has received more than 1,000 reports that business owners are fighting fraudulent Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications taken out in their name based on information that hackers pulled from PPP applications. The hackers have obtained information through other avenues as well.
A few of the firm’s clients who have been scammed realized it only after receiving a document by mail from the Small Business Administration informing them of a revised repayment schedule that the businesses did not request. Some business owners also have learned their information was stolen after performing new lien searches with lenders.
KCoe advises companies to take these steps to detect fraud.
Stay Alert. Pay close attention to your mail, emails, and lender communications. If anything seems suspicious, or you receive an official notice regarding EIDL and you did not apply for it, report it immediately.
Notify Lenders. Inform your lender (whether you participated in the EIDL program or not) so that they are aware of potentially fraudulent loans. Should the lender identify liens that shouldn’t have been filed, the owner will need to report the fraudulent loan to the SBA.
Be Proactive. Closely monitor personal credit reports. Put a hold/freeze on your credit to help monitor any authorized activity.
Report Immediately. With the uptick in fraudulent activity, it’s important to report your case immediately to SBA to start an investigation and address the business fraud. Contact the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955.