Small businsses alerted to COVID-19 payroll loan scam

Maine residents are being warned about yet another COVID-19 related scam, this one aimed spreading misinformation to small-business owners regarding the Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act.
Through this scheme, criminals contact employers and falsely tell 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 the 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 Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who sent out a news release alerting Mainers to the scam. “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 a $2 trillion funding package March 27 to fight the coronavirus and stimulate the economy, which includes $377 billion to help small businesses and their employees that have been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic.