Following the devastating impact of the coronavirus on small businesses, many small businesses applied for a disaster loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA) for relief.
Small businesses that qualify for the disaster loan program, which is different than the Paycheck Protection Program offered by the SBA, can apply for the loan by uploading the application, which contains their personal information, including Social Security numbers, into the SBA portal www.sba.gov.
Unfortunately, the SBA reported last week that 7,913 small business owners who had applied for a disaster loan through the portal had their personal information, including their Social Security numbers, compromised, when other applicants could view their applications on the website on March 25, 2020. On top of the turmoil the businesses have experienced from closure, owners now have to contend with potential personal identity theft.
The SBA has notified all affected business owners and is offering them free credit monitoring for one year. The notification letter indicates that the information compromised included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, financial information, email addresses and telephone numbers.
If your business applied for a disaster relief loan and your personal information was compromised in the incident, you will receive notification from the SBA, which is recommending that you sign up for the free credit monitoring being offered.