Extra Arizonans turning into sufferer to fraudulent small enterprise loans | Three On Your Facet
PHOENIX (3 on your side) – Michael Hough flipped through the Arizona family website and saw one report.
“Your article spoke to me,” he said. “That happens to me too.”
Last week, 3 On Your Side reported on a Scottsdale man who found he was hooked on a $ 26,200 COVID-19 catastrophe loan from the US Small Business Administration. The loan is in his name and home address, but he never applied for it and never saw a dime of the money.
62,005 COVID-19 disaster loans worth $ 3.3 billion were granted in Arizona, according to SBA data.
“This loan is not mine and I will not pay it,” said Scott Monroe.
Hough says that like Monroe, he was also attacked by a criminal who took out a fraudulent business loan on his behalf.
“I’ve never owned a business. Never. I’ve never applied for business finance. It happened by accident. Out of the blue, I get an invoice in the mail for this $ 141,000 loan,” Hough said said. “I thought it was a joke at first.”
Nearly $ 200 million worth of Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) have been approved across the country. A damning federal report shows that many of them are likely to be fraudulent.
Unprecedented demand and challenges resulted in billions of dollars being distributed to potentially ineligible companies or scammers due to errors, weaknesses in control, and fraud, according to the SBA Inspectorate General’s October report.
For Hough, the fraudulent loan costs him money every month.
“I’m trying to refinance my house and it is holding me up because I find out they liened the title of the house,” he said.
Last week, Hough received a call from the SBA promising to expedite the problem so he can refinance his mortgage, but says he still doesn’t know how to get rid of this fraudulent loan once and for all.
“It’s almost like they’re treating you like the criminal,” he said. “I’m trying to get that out of my name and it was very difficult.”
If you discover that you are a victim of EIDL fraud, you should report it to the Inspectorate General of the SBA. According to the SBA, these are the documents the SBA will need to begin a loan debt clearance review:
- A copy of an identity theft report filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at IdentityTheft.gov or with another federal law enforcement agency or your local law enforcement agency
- A copy of your photo ID issued by a federal or state authority. Examples include a driver’s license, ID card, US passport, or military ID.
- A completed and signed identity theft statement
Email all three of the above documents to [email protected] or fax your documents to (202) 481-5200. Documents can also be sent to:
US Small Business Administration
Processing and payout center
Attn: ID Theft Records
14925 Kingsport Road
Fort Worth, TX 76155
According to the SBA, fraud victims may continue to receive monthly bills while the case is being investigated.
“We encourage you to keep these statements until the SBA review is complete. SBA will notify you in writing when we have completed our review and provide a final letter of assessment setting out our findings,” the agency said.
According to the SBA, the agency will not provide the victims with any information about a possible criminal investigation.
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