Scams and Fraud Schemes

Financial Scams

With an unprecedented amount of federal funding available through the CARES Act and other expanded programs, scammers and fraudsters are already taking advantage of the pandemic situation. It is important to be vigilant and careful so you don’t fall victim to these schemes. For example, the SBA will never initiate contact to offer a loan or a grant to a small business. If someone contacts you before you have ever applied with the SBA, suspect fraud. Report a scam to the Office of the Inspector General at 800-767-0385 or online.

In addition, all of the SBA’s loan applications are completely free, so you should never pay an application fee for an SBA loan. Be sure to check the interest rate as published by the SBA, too, because many fraudsters will attempt to add interest to your loan. You can ensure that you’ll avoid these scams if you apply directly with the SBA or through a trusted, SBA-authorized lender. Find more information on the SBA website.

Unemployment Fraud

The Winnetka Police Department has received many identity theft reports related to fraudulent unemployment claims filed with the Illinois Department of Employment Security. A reminder to businesses and employees that if you received communication pertaining to a fraudulent unemployment claim for one of your employees or a nonemployee or yourself, take these step:

  1. Immediately report the fraud to Illinois Department of Employment Insurance.
  2. File a timely protest to a Notice of Claim and give IDES as much useful information as possible.
  3. Notify the Winnetka Police Department at 847-501-6034
  4. Report identify theft to the Federal Trade Commission