COVID-19 Fraud: Protecting Your Business
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Cyber criminals are targeting businesses as they adapt to uncertainty and new challenges.

Business owners have experienced disruptions from all sides during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to cash flow shortages and restricted operations, companies must also prepare for new fraud schemes that may target their business during this time. Fortunately, there are steps and precautions business owners can take to help safeguard their company against fraud.

Some criminals are attempting to take advantage of businesses who are seeking financial assistance or business guidance by posing as representatives of organizations like the Small Business Administration (SBA) via email. In some instances, scammers are contacting business owners and requesting sensitive data — Social Security numbers, tax IDs, and other personal information — claiming that the information is needed by the organization they are impersonating. Keep an eye out for anyone requesting payment in exchange for guaranteed SBA loan approval or charging loan applications fees.

Avoid falling victim to these types of scams by applying for financial relief only through a trusted, eligible lender. If you have questions about SBA relief or about public health mandates, visit an official government website.

In addition to business owners, scammers may also target employees working from home. Criminals might pose as the CEO and ask an employee to authorize a wire transfer, an HR representative requesting personal information, or an I.T. staff member asking for a password or directing an employee to download something. These scams could lead employees to release funds or confidential information to a criminal and may threaten the safety and wellbeing of the company.

Educate your team on the potential fraud schemes that may target your business and encourage remote employees to take extra precautions. Remind employees to look for signs that an email could be fake, and to always check the sender’s email address. Emphasize the fact that employees should not respond to unsolicited or suspicious emails, click links, or download attachments from unfamiliar senders. Report any suspicious activity to the Federal Trade Commission so they can investigate.

By exercising caution and keeping communication clear, you and your employees can work together to protect your company against fraud.

Find more resources for reporting fraud and helpful tips for fraud prevention.

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This information is general in nature and is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. Although Regions believes this information to be accurate, it cannot ensure that it will remain up to date. Statements or opinions of individuals referenced herein are their own—not Regions'. Consult an appropriate professional concerning your specific situation and irs.gov for current tax rules. Regions, the Regions logo, and the LifeGreen bike are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.