The latest recipients of the government warning letters are six companies that have said they could speed up US Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to businesses struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. The letters – from the FTC and the SBA – call on companies to immediately remove all bogus claims from their websites.
According to the FTC and SBA, recipients of the letter may mislead consumers whether they are affiliated with the SBA or their role in helping businesses obtain loans from the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). As a result, small businesses that have applied for loans through the listed websites may find themselves empty-handed.
The agencies said that one or more of the companies could mislead small business owners by:
- Use the SBA’s official name or logo on their websites;
- Easy applications and promising quick approvals;
- Tell consumers that they can apply directly on their website; and
- List their address as the SBA headquarters in Washington.
The letters ask companies to notify the FTC within 48 hours of specific actions they have taken to address agency concerns. The FTC will follow up with companies that do not make the correct corrections.
The FTC and SBA sent the letters to Taycor Financial (disasterloanassistance.com); SBADisasterLoan.org; USAfunding.com; SBALosAngeles.com; Madison Funding Partners (madisonfundingpartners.com); and NYMBUS (NYMBUS.com).
Here are some tips that can help you avoid scammers:
- Don’t apply for a loan without checking with the lender. Only lenders authorized by the SBA can provide PPP loans, and other loans may be available directly through the SBA. To find an SBA-approved lender in your area, use this SBA Tool.
- Beware of companies that offer to speed up or facilitate your ability to obtain PPP loans or that promote a special relationship with the SBA.
If you believe a company has misled you about an SBA loan, please let us know at ftc.gov/plaint.