We have received notification from local businesses about instances of fraud in the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Advance Grant Program. EIDL was established as the first federal small-business assistance program activated to combat the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. The purpose of EIDL loans and advances are to aid eligible, small entities and businesses with quick capital, as well as with long-term financing for working capital needs brought on by the pandemic.
Examples of how EIDL scams have transpired in recent months include:
- Fraud rings using social media to recruit applicants to split EIDL advance money with ringleaders.
- Various romance scams and social media solicitations persuading people to provide personally identifiable information to “get free money”. The information was then used to apply for SBA economic injury loans and portions of the proceeds went to the ringleader.
- Fraudulent companies advertising their ability to secure SBA money for clients to start businesses, then using respondents’ information to apply for SBA economic injury disaster loans. In this case, online videos on social media are readily available to instruct potential applicants on how to answer certain questions to falsely obtain economic injury loan money.
If you believe you’ve disclosed private information about your business in what may have been an EIDL scam, please contact us at 800.541.0006 so we can assist with protecting your business accounts and information.
You should also contact:
- The SBA OIG Hotline at 800.767.0385 or submit a complaint form to report fraud, waste, abuse or mismanagement of federal funds involving SBA programs, operations or personnel
- The National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 1.866.720.5721 or fill out a web complaint form