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More Challenges for Businesses Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

August 14, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to hinder business communities across the country with its latest threat – Fraud.

In Indiana, there is a current phishing attempt going around that impersonates the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

In this phishing attempt, the business receives an email stating they have been approved for financial aid such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and tells them to click a link to “start the funding process”. If the user clicks the link they are taken to a fake login page that is nearly identical to the SBA’s official website with the goal of recording login credentials in order to access sensitive data.

In Mississippi, the Attorney General’s Office has filed a lawsuit against Centurion Filing Services, LLC, for alleged deceptive solicitations targeting new Mississippi businesses.

The company, which operates under the fictitious name MS Certificate Service, targets new businesses by sending a misleading “2020 Certificate of Existence Request Form” through the mail. The misleading document encourages business owners to pay a fee to receive a Mississippi Certificate of Existence. As of today, the scammers have already defrauded over 2,700 Mississippi businesses. Similar misleading communications have been reported in CA, NJ, NY and more.

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