PPP borrowers may be buried in spam after names are released

Business names, addresses and other data points are expected to be released this week

The Trump administration plans to release information regarding PPP applicants who received loans in excess of $150,000, and business owners should be prepared for a barrage of emails and phone calls, one expert says.

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Business names, addresses and other data points are expected to be released on Thursday, according to White House officials.

And organizing that data into a neatly packaged list will present some unique opportunities for interested parties.

AS PPP BORROWERS BECOME PUBLIC, WILL THEY ALSO BECOME TARGETS?

“My very first thought was that is like a marketing list builder’s dream,” L.J. Suzuki, founder of CFOShares.org, told FOX Business. “At the very least every company should expect to get a lot more spam emails or spam phone calls.”

Suzuki noted that for many small businesses struggling to keep the lights on amid the coronavirus pandemic, time is money, so these “annoyances” could wind up being costly.

Another possible effect is that employees may become frustrated or disgruntled if they see loan dollar amounts and do not understand how the funding was distributed, Suzuki added.

SENATE PASSES BILL TO EXTEND PPP APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Initially, in order for the loan to be forgiven, the Small Business Administration stipulated that 75 percent of the money needed to be allocated toward payroll expenses. That amount was later reduced to 60 percent.

And scammers may try to use the information to send phishing emails. Tom Miller, CEO of risk management firm ClearForce, told FOX Business that piecing together those bits of information into list form allows “bad guys to understand the value of a target.”

The SBA has already warned that thieves are actively trying to obtain sensitive data from business owners through a variety of scams.

As previously reported by FOX Business, the SBA and Treasury Department announced last week that they would enhance the transparency of the program by releasing additional data about borrowers. That information includes business names, addresses, NAIC codes, business type, demographic data, nonprofit information, jobs supported and loan amount ranges for people who received more than $150,000. About 75 percent of loan dollars approved were above $150,000.

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Meanwhile, lawmakers have approved extending the application window for small businesses to access PPP dollars until August. A bill passed the Senate with unanimous consent on Tuesday night. The measure was approved in the House and now moves on to President Trump to sign.

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