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FTC Warns of COVID-19 Small Business Scams

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned the public about several scams related to COVID-19 that could potentially harm your independent home improvement operation. Read about some of the most common small business scams and what you can do to protect your business.

Public Health Scams

Some scammers are contacting small businesses and claiming to represent public health organizations. In many instances, these people are attempting to retrieve social security numbers, tax IDs and more. Other scammers are sending email attachments containing malware. Remind your employees to not respond to messages like these and to never open email attachments from unknown senders.

Stimulus Check Scams

As Congress begins to deliver some $2 trillion in economic aid to small businesses and citizens, the FTC is also warning of scams related to stimulus checks and small business loans. If someone calls you or your business out of the blue claiming to represent the government and requests pertinent information upfront, it is a scam. Check out the FTC’s blog post on what you need to know about upcoming economic aid.

Internal Email Ploys

In another COVID-19 scam, some bad actors are duplicating the email addresses of members of a company’s executive team. They then send out emails that look to be from a trusted internal source, but are, in fact, another example of phishing. These messages usually include requests for money transfers or requests to buy business cards. Especially in times when many employees are working from home, be sure to remind your employees of the dangers these kind of emails pose.

Malicious Robocalls

Fraudsters are also using robocalls to target small businesses. Some calls attempt to sell fake COVID-19 testing kits and sanitation supplies, according to the FTC. Others specifically reference small businesses that may be affected by COVID-19. Remind your staff members that the only response to a robocall is a prompt hang-up.

About Todd Taber

Todd Taber
Todd is trends editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. He graduated from Indiana University where he majored in journalism and French. Throughout his career, he has aimed to highlight small businesses and their community value. He joined NRHA in 2017.

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