FBI warns of phishing email trying to scam SBA loan recipients

August 13, 2020

Greg Grisolano


The FBI’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is tracking an unknown malicious cyber actor who is spoofing the Small Business Administration COVID-19 loan relief webpage via phishing emails.

These emails include a malicious link to the spoofed SBA website that the cyber actor is using for malicious re-directs and credential stealing. The agency issued an alert about the scheme on Wednesday, Aug. 12.

The CISA bulletin warns that the phishing email includes “SBA Application – Review and Proceed” in the subject line, a sender, marked as “disastercustomerservice@sba[.]gov” and text in the email body urging the recipient to click on a hyperlink to address which directs them to “leanproconsulting.com/br/gov/covid19relief/sba.gov.”

phising alert from https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ncas/alerts/aa20-225a

Phishing attacks use email or malicious websites to solicit personal information by posing as a trustworthy organization.

Doug Morris, security operations director for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, says any truckers who received a Paycheck Protection Program loan should be wary of any email correspondence purporting to be from the SBA.

“If you get an email saying, ‘Hey, about your SBA loan …’ or something like that, and even if it looks like it came from SBA, don’t open it up,” Morris said on Land Line Now. “Don’t open up any attachments. Call the SBA themselves and go that route. Do not open up anything right now because this looks like a pretty sophisticated attack here.”

CISA recommends individuals exercise caution when opening email attachments, even if the attachment is expected and the sender appears to be known. The agency has a list of suggestions in its bulletin “Using Caution with Email Attachments.”

PPP loans in trucking

A total of 3,205 long-haul trucking companies received at least $150,000 in Paycheck Protection Program loans according to a report released by the Small Business Administration on July 5. The loan application deadline was eventually extended to Aug. 8.

The combined trucking sector represented less than 0.5% of all recipients of the loans valued at $150,000 or more.

The truckload sector was awarded 2,886 PPP loans while the less-than-truckload sector was awarded 319 loans. Only 33 companies, truckload and LTL combined, received between $5 million and $10 million in PPP loans. The vast majority of loans, 52%, detailed in the report going to trucking companies were valued at $150,000 to $300,000.