SBA Warns Small Firms of Bank Letter Scam

The Small Business Administration is warning firms not to respond to fraudulent letters that appear to have been sent by the agency asking businesses for bank account information in order to qualify for federal tax rebates.

The letters were faxed on fake SBA letterhead with the intent to dupe small businesses across the country, advising recipients that they may be eligible for a tax rebate under the new Economic Stimulus Act, and that SBA is assessing their eligibility for a rebate. The letter asks where a business banks and for its account number.

The SBA is working with its Office of Inspector General in investigating the matter. A spokesman for the SBA said the fax number on the fake letters has already been taken out of service. However, he cautioned that the fraudsters could easily continue to rotate fax numbers. The government is urging any business that may have already responded to this scam to notify its bank immediately.

Additionally, anyone who receives such a letter should report it to the OIG Fraud Line at 1-800-767-0385, or e-mail at OIGHotline@sba.gov.

By Sharon McLoone |  February 20, 2009; 12:45 PM ET
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