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Better Business Bureau warning of PPP loan scams

Published: Oct. 12, 2020 at 8:44 AM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The Better Business Bureau in Monroe says recently they were contacted about a scam involving the Paycheck Protection Program.

Jo-Ann Deal with the BBB says a homebuilder in North Louisiana received a letter saying they were approved for a PPP loan. The only problem is, the builder didn’t apply for one. Someone applied for a loan through one of the builder’s dormant business names they most likely found on the Secretary of State’s website.

“This, then, would indicate to you that there’s a loan out there in your name that you’re responsible for, but you didn’t get the money," says Deal.

That’s why Deal says it’s important to check and see if any of your old business names are still on public websites. She says you should report it to the authorities immediately.

“Initially, it was 16 cases when the homebuilder first started working with the local FBI, but now across the country, the numbers are starting to add up," explains Deal.

She says it’s also important to note that the Bank of America had a data breach in April on its PPP loan application website.

“This was the same day that the Bank of America uploaded customer details from the PPP program from the U.S. SBA test platform," says Deal. “The bank clarified that the data could not be accessed publicly.”

She says if you did apply through that site for a PPP loan, you should check your accounts and credit reports over the next 12 - 24 months.

“You want to make sure that if you have any records of having applied for the payroll protection program on multiple platforms that you go back and do some research," says Deal.

And Deal notes if you have not heard back after applying for a PPP loan, you should look back at the sites you applied through to make sure they are legitimate. She says there were some issues when the applications first opened with scammers replicating different websites.

If you have questions, you can call the BBB at (318) 387-4600. Their office is still working from home, so your calls will be sent to voicemail and returned. Deal asks that you give them a day to get back to you because they receive a lot of calls.

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