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SCAM ALERT: Con Artists Demanding Payment to Apply for Small Business Loans During COVID-19 Pandemic

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins is warning small business owners to be on guard against an emerging scam that is spreading misinformation regarding the Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act that she co-authored.


Through this scheme, criminals are contacting employers and falsely telling them that they must pay a fee to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan to help keep their employees paid and employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The truth is that there is no application fee to apply for these loans.  In addition, if employers maintain their payroll, the portion of the loan used for eligible payroll costs and other expenses will be forgiven.


“This scam is another reminder of how ruthless criminals are in seeking to steal from hardworking Americans during a time of economic hardship,” said Senator Collins.  “Anyone receiving this type of call should immediately hang up and report it to my Committee’s Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470.”


Congress passed and the president signed into law a $2 trillion funding package to fight the coronavirus and stimulate the economy, which includes a section Senator Collins co-authored providing $377 billion to help small businesses and their employees that have been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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