Scammers are not “friends” to small business owners

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Scammers try to contact you in many ways. They call, email, put ads online, send messages on social media and more. If you own a small business, they’re trying to contact you too.  Lately we’ve been hearing about scams through Facebook messages directed to small business owners.

People have reported receiving messages on Facebook telling them that they’re eligible for ― or that they’ve won ― a business grant. If you get a message like this, do not respond. This is a scam. The government won’t contact you on social media to offer you money.

Some people responded to the messages because they thought they were from a “friend.” Know this: scammers can spoof social media messages to make them look like they’re coming from a friend. Some fake messages directed people to send a text to “confirm” their “business grant.” Don’t do it. The scammer is only trying to get your cell phone number to keep trying to get your money.

Before you respond to a message on social media about a small business grant, stop and consider:

  • The government won’t contact you through social media to offer you money.
  • Real government grants don’t require that you pay first. Stay away from any deal that makes you pay to get your “business grant.”
  • If someone tells you they need your passwords to give you a “business grant,” they’re just trying to hack into your accounts to steal your money or impersonate you and scam others.
  • If the only way to communicate with the person offering you a “business grant” is through social media or text, that is a red flag for a scam.

Find out more about government grant scams and imposter scams and report them to the FTC if you see one.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Comments

How do I report scamming emails saying something about funds that either I owe or they owe me wen I DNT owe anybody nothing

You can report that to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. There's a part of the complaint process that lets you cut and paste information into the online form.

The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

Yesterday I friended a person on Facebook for a game I play the next thing I know she is asking me what did I think of the news what news she said about government all the new programs I told her I didn't know she then wanted my personal info she is from Canada according to her profile I deleted her messages and blocked her for I wasn't giving anyone my personal information and yes a clear example of how even on Facebook there are scammers ! Thank you for keeping us in the loop and emails and updates help stop others from being scammed I will never give out my personal information it's like Facebook is becoming a dating site you become friends with one next thing they want to know all about you am I single discribe myself boom I deleted them and block

Nice article.

This scam sent facetious Facebook messages to my husband through a childhood friends mother same deal wanted money and info. It's a shame too because we've already got identity theft AND we have been working toward getting rural development grant I truly hate someone who wants to steal from innocent elderly disabled people

I get hundreds of robocalls to my donot call listed cell phone. All promoting the same robocall system. Using the Donot call registry complaint form is too slow and too cumbersome. The FTC needs to put this Ponzi scheme down. I have a list of numbers stored in my cell phone, but would take days to fill out the complaint forms for all of these hundreds of calls. There needs to be a better way.

Have you tried NoMoRobo? It screens out most robocalls. If you get a call from an auto-dialer (that isn't a listed charity or government agency), the phone will ring once and then stop. So you just wait to pick up until you hear the second ring. It can't block all these calls, because the numbers keep changing and it takes them a while to catch up, but it gets most of them. The service is free for landlines, $2 a month for smartphones. You can sign up at NoMoRobo.com.

thank you........love your service and info....

will follow your informations and provide ours on blog

Electric (FPL) scam called my business looking for immediate payment or else they would shut off electric within an hour. They also used FPL telephone number and recording to cover themselves... BEWARE!! Do not give them any information. Always call them directly before you get SCAMMED!!!

Exceillent short article.

Is it possible for a business to get on the Do Not Call registry? We get too many sales & scam calls.

The National Do Not Call Registry is only for personal phone numbers. Business-to-business calls and faxes are not covered.

I had a client who had a man come to her home who said he was an IRS agent. He quickly showed her his ID, but when she requested to look at it closer, he refused to let her. He was demanding a copy of a 2016 Form 941 from her business and then proceeded to ask her what she was getting for her federal refund on her personal tax return. She told him to come to my office to get a copy of the 941 and he refused to stop by. I called the Treasury Inspector General's office and they said that the name he gave was a legitimate IRS agent. They also said that IRS agents don't just drop in at someone's house to request business information or to ask about a personal refund amount. I then called this IRS agent to discuss this odd visit. He said that he was in the area and so he stopped at the client's home and that he was following IRS protocol. I told him that the TIG's office said that he was NOT following protocol and should have never just went to her house and asked about forms and tax information. He became very angry at me so I told him that I would honor the request for the form if I received a notice from the IRS in the mail. The next day I received an IRS notice with the IRS agent's name and phone number on it so I went ahead and faxed the form. I still don't know if this person was who he says he was or not. ??

Received letter by mail that I am eligible for benefits to reduce my student loan. PS I am 85 years of age and never had a student loan. I guess this must be another scam

Thank you for all your notices..

Very good information - thanks for sharing with us

Great post.It's started now or hadn't you noticed

Beware of Emails that are from actual friends or people you know that have forwarded something to you that says FWD: thought you might appreciate this. When in doubt contact that person directly, DO NOT OPEN EMAIL. They are scammers using your friends to try and hack into your system and get your personal information. Delete it. I'm just not sure how to report it or block. I don't want to block my friend from being able to email me. Any suggestions? BTW, we got the same call about FPL coming to shut off Service. We took number down and asked for as much info we could get and said we would check our payment status and get back to them. Did this so we could call FPL and report with as much info we could provide them with.

Thank you for been up there for all of us

WHY can't the FTC trace robo-calls in REAL TIME? I'd love to stall one of these scammers on one line & call the FTC from a second line to have them IMMEDIATELY trace the robo-call.

I am not a business but I need to tell everyone what happened to my husband from Facebook. There is a person that took over my husband full name and his picture he uses on his Facebook page.

He text his friends from Facebook telling them he won $2,000.000.00 dollars from Facebook that is doing a drawing to win money from them and David was one of the winners. He has to give away $1,000.000.00 before he can have his money. This person text them with this info. He tells them to text him back at a number her gives them. If you call that number all you get is a voice mail saying that he can not answer right now try back later.

A few of my husband's friends and told him what someone is doing with his identity from his Facebook page. My husband told me what was happening to him on Facebook also one of my friend called me and told me what this man was doing with my husband name. I Googled Facebook phone number. I knew that they don't give out there phone number. But by surprise there was a phone number for Facebook. I myself called that number and a man answered Facebook how May I help you. I told him that he text me telling me that my friend from Facebook had won a lot of money and her has to give half of it away before he can receive his part. I said I'd this true and he said yes he has won money from Facebook. The man told me yes it is true. Be told me that if I want there part so had to go to z place that sells IPad I tunes cards each one for $100.00 on all 6 cards they buy. When I buy them text him back the 6 numbers on the back of each card. After I due that I will be receive $35,000.00 at my home within the hour. I ask him how does he know my address. He ask he if the address he told me was correct. I told him I guess if you say so. That made him z little upset at me. So I said that you are a scam because he was talking to my husbands wife that be stole his Identy from Facebook.

I then told him that I was going to call our law dept. And the Attorney General along with the FBI DEPT. I then told him I wish him a great life in Prison for what he has done to my husband. My husband could not do it for himself because be is an over the road truck driver. He told me there is nothing we can do to him because we will never find him. I said if you think you are nuts more then I thought he was. I said have a Great Day and enjoy you time in Prison. I then hung up on him.

Well all together anyone can steel your Identity at any time. My husband and I closed out our Facebook page. But I just seen on my cell phone that there he is saying his name is David Morris 1970. But he has his picture on it and he is one of the friend that I ask to be my ffriend on the app for messenger. I did not ever do that how he got onto that is beyond me. Maybe because my husband is one of my friends I invited. So with him saying he is my husband's name he got on. So now I have to try to put a block on him and pray it doesn't do my husband too. Well that is my story. I know that I am a long talked. Just wanted everyone to see what. Can happen to anyone.

I am a professional pet sitter in the Apopka, FL area. A man by the name of "Joe Clark" was texting/emailing me back and forth to hire me when he goes out of town for 15 days for his two dogs. He understood how pet sitting works by number of visits needed. He stated that he was currently out of town for lung cancer surgery. He gave me a physical address as well. When I looked the address up the house was for sale...he was communicating with me with a 201 area code. His final e-mail was as follows, and I quote"The favor is that I will give you my credit card to charge through an additional $2,190to the petsitting service $of $810.00 with another $100.00 for yourself for your effort and stress that you will be going through. So once the funds hit your account, you will be sending $2,190 to the house keeper via cash" He went on to say that the money is for pet sitting supplies for his dogs while he is away.Please be aware this is happening. I would hate to see anyone become a victim.

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