The fraudsters pump you for information they say will speed you the money. They might even set up fake websites to collect your “application.” It’s all a ruse to get a quick payment, gain access to your bank account, harvest private data like Social Security numbers, or seed your company’s computer network with malware or ransomware.

Such tricks are nothing new. In a 2018 Better Business Bureau (BBB) study, nearly two-thirds of small businesses reported being targeted at least once by scammers in the previous three years, and more than 1 in 8 lost money or sensitive business information. Based on the survey data, the BBB estimated that fraud robs small firms of $7 billion a year. As with the pandemic, natural disasters bring scam artists out of the woodwork to prey on businesses seeking…

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