In the wake of emergency assistance available to help small businesses in response to the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the SBA is urging disaster loan applicants seeking federal aid to be alert to phishing campaigns and scams. These malicious actors are impersonating the SBA and its Office of Disaster Assistance to collect personally identifiable information (PII) for fraudulent purposes.
The SBA is particularly concerned about scam emails that are targeting applicants of the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program asking them to verify their accounts using a third-party online platform to collect personally identifiable information.
Watch Out for Phony Emails Asking for Your Information
These may be attempts to obtain PII, access personal banking accounts, or to install ransomware or malware on your computer.
The SBA will never use a third-party platform to:
Government Employees Do Not Charge for Recovery Assistance
Additionally, federal agencies that provide disaster recovery assistance will never ask for a fee or payment to apply for financial assistance, and government employees do not charge for any recovery assistance provided.
Tips to Keep an Eye On
The best way to avoid being scammed is to safeguard your information like money in the bank. Always be vigilant in protecting your personal information and data assets. If you suspect an email is associated with a fraud scam targeting the SBA, report it to the Office of Inspector General’s Hotline at 800-767-0385 or online at https://www.sba.gov/COVIDfraudalert.
You can learn more about scams and fraud schemes on the SBA’s website at
Loan applicants who have questions about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program may call the Disaster Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.