MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WFRV) – The Wisconsin Better Business Bureaus (BBB) announced on Wednesday that small business owners in Wisconsin should on alert for a scam going around regarding SBA grant offers.
According to BBB, the SBA scam is being sent electronically through an email or text with the caller ID appearing to be from the U.S. Small Business Administration or an attorney representing the SBA.
The organization says the SBA scam offers small business owners that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic grants. To get access to these grants the SBA scam sends the owner an application or form to complete that requires banking and business information.
BBB notes that once the “SBA” approves the application, it asks local business owners to pay a “processing fee” that can be up to several thousand dollars.
BBB reports the SBA scam is just one of the many types of scams circling the state saying its BBB.org/ScamTracker has received recent reports of similar types of scams involving the “government agency” contacting business owners.
The BBB organization notes, “Businesses typically don’t receive government grants…The federal government only offers grants to nonprofits, educational institutions, and state and local governments.”
BBB provided some tips local business owners can use to detect a Small Business Loan Scam:
- Look for a website that ends in “.gov” or “.ca.”
- Do a quick internet search for similar scams
- Be sure to confirm that the offer is real before sharing personal or business information.
- Find the agency website through an online search (never click on a link in an email) and be sure the program is on their website.
- Government agencies do not typically text or communicate through social media avenues such as Facebook.
- If you have to pay money to claim a “free” government grant, it is not really free.
BBB says, “No matter how convincing the idea sounds and how much your business could use “free” money, don’t fall for it.”
To learn more about the SBA grant or for business resources and loan information visit SBA.gov. For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002.