Scams Hit Small-Business Loan Program
Small-business owners are being warned about a wave of scams, exorbitant fees and abusive marketing tactics related to federally guaranteed loan programs.
As lenders and borrowers slowly return to the loans guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, some are complaining about such abuses, the SBA’s Office of Inspector General warns.
Among the complaints:
* Firms charging small businesses high fees to provide assistance in applying for SBA loans. The allegations include guarantees that a business will get a loan if it pays the fee. SBA says it does not endorse or give preference to specific private companies or their clients.
* Firms call offering assistance and ask for the business’ bank account and routing information and then charging for services never requested. (Never give social security numbers, bank account information or credit card numbers especially to inbound callers.)
* Firms tell owners that they will be issued a “forfeiture letter,”making their business ineligible for any SBA funding for three years if the owners refuse to use the firm’s services.