Payment Protection Program Scams

PPP Scams

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been one of the most important pieces of legislation signed into effect since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The unsecured loans through the Small Business Association (SBA) have enabled our favorite retail shops, restaurants and small businesses to stay afloat, even as the coronavirus devastates sectors of the economy.

Not surprisingly, scammers have been using the PPP for their own purposes, mainly to con struggling business owners out of money. In these scams, they’ll pose as SBA representatives or legitimate lenders to ask for personal information from the borrower. They may also send bogus emails appearing to be from the SBA to lead the victim into downloading malware.

Scammers are getting smarter all the time, but so are we! Here’s how to avoid PPP scams:

Know how PPP loans are processed

Ready to apply for a PPP loan?  Fill it out the SBA PPP loan application, and submit it to an SBA-approved lender. You’ll also need to provide some documents, such as tax returns for 2019, verifiable payroll expense documents, your most recent mortgage or rent statement, etc.

If you’re applying for a Second Draw PPP Loan, you will also need documentation that shows how you have used, or plan to use, your original PPP funds.

After you’ve submitted your application, just sit back and wait for approval.

How can I protect my business from PPP fraud?

Do:

  • Be wary of any individuals demanding immediate payment or asking that you make immediate contact to be eligible for a PPP loan. These are likely scammers.
  • Only use a lender that is accredited by the SBA. You can find all SBA-approved lenders here.
  • Look for the .gov at the end of each email or website allegedly from the SBA or another government entity.
  • Report any suspected scams to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Don’t let those crooks walk free!

 Don’t:

  • Pay for a program that promises to process or expedite a PPP loan request if the organization behind the program is not accredited by the SBA.
  • Share any personal information with an unverified caller or email contact. If it’s personal info, make sure to keep it that way!
  • Click on links or download files from an unfamiliar email address.

Stay safe!

Freedom has made the Paycheck Protection Program available to its current members.  Applicants must have established a business or personal membership with Freedom on or before December 27, 2020.  Visit freedomfcu.org/business/ppp/ for more details. 

Your Turn: Are you a small business owner who has applied for a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program? Tell us about it on Facebook, LinkedIn,Twitter, or Instagram @FreedomFedCU.

 

WMAR-2 News Covers the #FreedomToHelpChallenge in a special segment

WMAR-2 Interviews Ashira Quabili

WMAR-2 News Segment and Article on Freedom’s #FreedomToHelpChallenge

WMAR-2 News recently interviewed Freedom Federal Credit Union Marketing Communications Coordinator, Ashira Quabili, on their 3rd annual #FreedomToHelpChallenge.

“The best part about the #FreedomToHelpChallenge is any charity any non-profit big or small can be involved and get something great out of it, you can enter a photo and reach thousands of people in a week that may never have heard of your cause,” said Ashira Quabili, the Marketing Communications Coordinator for Freedom Federal Credit Union. She added, “all of these charities are doing amazing things in our communities and this is a great opportunity for them to get their name out there and get their missions out there.”

Learn More about the Freedom To Help Challenge

 

Read more:

WMAR-2 News Segment and Article on Freedom’s #FreedomToHelpChallenge

About Freedom Federal Credit Union

Freedom serves and is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school, volunteers, or has family in Harford or Baltimore County, MD. As a credit union, we are committed to putting you first, not shareholders, and helping you achieve your financial goals. Learn more at freedomfcu.org or call us 800-440-4120 to see how we can help.

Your Turn: Submit a photo for the #FreedomToHelpChallenge.  Post a picture on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Don’t forget to include the hashtag: #FreedomToHelpChallenge and tag us @FreedomFCU on Facebook and @FreedomFedCU on Twitter or Instagram.

Banking Reimagined My Foot

December 4, 2020

You know what annoys me?  Commercials.  One in particular gets under my skin.  It’s the commercial for Capital One.  It’s bad enough they talk about having no fees or minimums on checking accounts like they just thought of it or that you can bank on the go with a mobile app like no one else offers that.  No, it was the phrase “banking reimagined”.  You know what banking reimagined is?  A CREDIT UNION!!!

All you need to do is look at our history to know that banks are still banks no matter what kind of pretty package you put it in or spin you put on it.  You still get your best deal, have your best experience, at a credit union and with people like you.

Mike