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4 Paycheck Protection Program scams you need to know

Information is power. If you know of the scams, you'll have a better chance of not falling for one.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The FBI is investigating more than $42 million worth of fraud in the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

The program provides loans for small businesses trying to stay afloat and keep employees on payroll during the pandemic, but many are finding themselves without any money due to scams.

Social Catfish released a new report highlighting the four most common scams.

First is the phishing scam.

Scammers will email you claiming to be with the small business administration.  They will try to get you to click a link that will infect your device with a virus.

Next is the robocall scam.

You will get a call from someone claiming to be with the SBA asking you to verify your information.

Kevin Hinterberger with the Better Business Bureau said those two scams are very common.

"If you receive a phone call an email or a text or anything like that any type of communication, that’s a huge red flag that somebody is trying to scam you out of some money or your information," Hinterberger said.

A third scam to keep on your radar is the fake fees and fast money scam.

Basically you will get contacted by someone saying if you want to fast track a PPP loan you just have to pay a fee or you have to pay a fee to get the loan. 

"Anytime that anyone is asking you to give them money in advance for processing alone that's just one of the biggest red flags out there," Hinterberger said.

And lastly, there is the fake lender scam.

This happens when someone posing as a credible lender gives you an application to fill out. In reality, it's just a way to get your personal information.

Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • The SBA will never email or call you out of the blue asking you to apply for a loan.
  • They won't call you to verify your information.
  • You can only get a PPP loan through an approved lender. You can search for approved lenders on the SBA's website. 

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RELATED: What is the Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness guidance?

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