Fraud Warning: Small Businesses Targeted

The Latin Chamber of Commerce in Las Vegas just sent out an e-mail to all its members with a warning for all small businesses. Fraudulent letters are circulating on fake Small Business Administration (SBA) letterhead, asking small businesses to disclose bank information for tax purposes. Many of these scams are so obvious it's really not worth warning fellow linguists about, but this one appears to be harder to detect than most, so we wanted to post it here.

Here's the text of the press release as issued by the SBA. Please pass this on to fellow small business owners who might not know about it.

SBA Warns of Fraudulent Attempts to Obtain Bank Account Information from Small Businesses
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration issued a scam alert today to small businesses, warning them not to respond to letters falsely claiming to have been sent by the SBA asking for bank account information in order to qualify them for federal tax rebates.
The fraudulent letters were sent out with what appears to be an SBA letterhead to small businesses across the country, advising recipients that they may be eligible for a tax rebate under the Economic Stimulus Act, and that SBA is assessing their eligibility for such a rebate. The letter asks the small business to provide the name of its bank and account number.
These letters have not been sent by or authorized by the SBA, and all small businesses are strongly advised not to respond to them.
The scheme is similar in many ways to e-mail scams often referred to as “phishing” that seek personal data and financial account information that enables another party to access and individual’s bank accounts or to engage in identity theft.
The SBA is working with the SBA Office of Inspector General to investigate this matter. The Office of Inspector General asks that anyone who receives such a letter report it to the OIG Fraud Line at 1 (800) 767-0385, or e-mail at


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