Small Business Administration Scams

The Office of Inspector General recognizes that we are facing unprecedented times and is alerting the public about potential fraud schemes related to economic stimulus programs offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in response to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19). The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the largest financial assistance bill to date, includes provisions to help small businesses. Fraudsters have already begun targeting small business owners during these economically difficult times. Be on the lookout for grant fraud, loan fraud, and phishing.

Individuals may receive fraudulent attempts through email asking them to click on links or attachments to complete an application for the program. Do not click on any links or attachments from unknown senders or unexpected correspondence.

Some emails may appear to come from a legitimate domain, so it is important to verify the validity of any requests asking for information. It is important to remember that any requests for US Cares Paycheck Protection Program will come directly from your financial institution. Disbursements will also only come from your bank.

Recognizing Phishing Emails

  • Remain vigilant when opening emails from unknown senders. The email may appear to be from someone you know. Pay attention to grammatical errors.
  • Never click any links or attachments in emails from someone you don’t know.
  • Report suspicious emails with unknown attachments or links to your email provider.
  • Ensure your personal computer systems and anti-virus are always up to date and running on the most current software version.

See sample phishing email below:

sample phishing email

For more information and to report fraud attempts from the SBA please visit their website.

Please contact NBT Bank if you have provided any personal or financial information at 1-800-NBT-BANK or at [email protected].