JAMESTOWN – Scammers are reportedly targeting small businesses with fake offers to receive assistance from the Small Business Administration.
The Better Business Bureau says it’s seen a few scams claiming federal grants are available as a form of Coronavirus relief.
In one example, business owners receive an e-mail with an application from someone claiming to represent the SBA.
Once the application is received, the business owner receives an approval and request to pay a processing fee that can be thousands of dollars.
In some instances scammers are even hacking Facebook accounts and using them to endorse the fake services. Experts say real government assistance never requires a processing fee in advance.
Authentic agencies also use e-mail addresses and host web-sites using the extension dot-gov.
Relief to small businesses is generally only available in the form of loans. Non-profits and educational institutions are typically the only organizations that can qualify for grants.