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FTC warns of scams targeting small businesses during pandemic

Posted at 8:35 AM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 09:35:20-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Federal Trade Commission says scammers are looking to take advantage of small businesses that are struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FTC put out a warning after catching a company allegedly using the government's Payment Protection Program to scam businesses.

Ponte Investments is accused of potentially tricking thousands of business owners into applying for the wrong program.

The company claims its affiliated with the SBA and can offer or expedite the PPP loans. They usually call or email businesses claiming they can easily get them a loan.

Business owners who’ve been a victim say not only were tricked but now have given out their personal information to a stranger.

The FTC has filed a case against the company.

The agency says you can avoid the scam by being skeptical. If you get an email that looks like it's from the SBA or your bank, don't click any links in it. Go straight to the organization's website.

Remember, the government will never ask you to pay anything upfront.