Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill is advising small business owners to beware of scammers looking to take advantage of them amid the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Better Business Bureau, scams involving the U.S. Small Business Administration are targeting small businesses.
The BBB says imposters are posing as the SBA to lure small businesses with fake grants and asking them to pay a “processing fee.”
“Small businesses in Indiana are normally trying to satisfy their customers and maintain a profit. But as this pandemic plays out, small businesses are shifting their business models, keeping people safe and just trying to survive,” Hill said. “This juggling act makes them especially vulnerable to scammers who are trying to illegally and immorally profit from this crisis.”
Small businesses in dire need of additional funds should take heed, the BBB says. Hill’s office says there are legitimate resources available to small businesses when it comes to the economic impacts of the ongoing pandemic.
Businesses are being urged to thoroughly research any offers before accepting and providing personal information.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, coronavirus-related scams often include government check scams and information technology scams.
To avoid coronavirus-related scams, Hill’s office says to do the following:
- Carefully inspect the email addresses in all messages landing in your inbox.
- Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments.
- Use trusted, legitimate government websites to obtain up-to-date information.
- Don’t reveal personal or financial information via email or text message.
- Hang up on robocalls.
Small businesses may be eligible for relief under the CARES Act, which contains $376 billion in relief. Indiana small businesses are encouraged to visit the Indiana Chamber of Commerce website for assistance options.
More information can be found by clicking here.