Better Business Bureau reminds people to watch for scammers during pandemic

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about scammers trying to take advantage of people impacted by the pandemic.

“One of our BBB accredited businesses reached out to us and said that a SBA loan application was taken out in his name and while it’s not uncommon, it’s not something we see terribly often,” Jesse Schmidt with the Better Business Bureau said.

Schmidt says the pandemic is providing an opportunity for scammers to take advantage of people and businesses who are trying to recover during these uncertain times.

“There are so many different types of loans out there right now, there’s PPP loans, and that looks like it is going to be extended for awhile, SBA is working with individual organizations as well to take out loans, and so it’s just prime opportunity for scammers to jump in,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt says a good way to help prevent something like this from happening is to check your credit regularly. You can do that through a credit reporting agency.

“We encourage individuals to three times a year reach out to each credit reporting agency to pull your individual credit report and see if there is anything on there that is incorrect, then that gives you the opportunity to go out and correct that information,” Schmidt said.

To do that, Schmidt says you can reach out to the organization that somebody is attempting to take credit from.

“Say ‘hey this is not me, you need to revoke this loan, or stop it,’ and then, of course, our recommendation is this is an opportunity where consumers should freeze their credit because no new credit can be taken out in your name if you have a credit freeze,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt says if you do have your identity stolen or credit compromised it’s better to catch it happening in the early stages. If not, she says it could be a long process. She says there are services that can identify when something like this happens and notify you.

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