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Wisconsin league warns of scam targeting small biz
PEWAUKEE, Wis. (2/25/09)--Scam artists again are taking advantage of current economic uncertainty with a new scam attempt targeting small businesses. The Wisconsin Credit Union League has sent a warning to credit unions in that state so they can alert members. The scam involves letters printed on what appears to be U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) letterhead and claiming to be from the SBA. The letters request financial account information to qualify the small business for federal tax rebates under the Economic Stimulus Act. However, SBA has not authorized these letters. The scam serves as a reminder to small businesses and consumers that they should be especially wary of communications--whether by phone, e-mail or mail--that ask them to update, validate or confirm account information, said the league. The league sent the warning because many members use credit unions for their business loans or other financial services “Typically you’ll see scam artists posing as financial institutions trying to trick account holders into divulging personal information," said league President/CEO Brett Thompson. "In this case, the scammers are just trying to reach members of a financial institution using a different angle. But no legitimate business--including Wisconsin credit unions, the League or the SBA--would ever solicit financial account information via phone, mail or email.” Businesses receiving the letter should not respond but instead report the letter to SBA’s Office of Inspector General by calling 800-767-0385 or by e-mailing OIGHotline@sba.org.


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