What are business grants and loans scams?

This is when fraudsters pose as government employees or authorized lenders to target your business into paying upfront fees to receive a grant or loan. You're told that you're guaranteed approval prior to any credit check or financial review, and you're asked to pay upfront fees for credit checks or application processing. Often, fraudsters will contact businesses to tell them they're qualified or have been approved for a government grant or financial loan they never applied for. 

Stay safe with our tips

  • Be wary if you've gotten approved for a grant or loan prior to a credit check and financial review. Most fraudsters will try to lure you in with this tactic. 
  • Do a diligent search. Check if an online lender has a physical address or if their email address is from a reputable organization. 
  • Don't be afraid to hang up the phone. If you feel uncomfortable or uncertain about the person you're speaking to, search for a legitimate phone number and call them. 
  • Don't respond to unsolicited communication claiming to be from trusted business lenders or the government. This includes untraditional advertising, such as personal Facebook messages.
  • Don't pay money up front to get a grant or loan approved. Legitimate lenders won't ask you to pay for a credit check, application or processing fees.
  • Review a lender's offer and terms and ask questions. If the offer and terms are too good to be true, it's usually a scam. 

Notice anything suspicious? Let us know

Explore more about business grants and loans scams

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre Opens in a new window.

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The Little Black Book of Scams Opens in a new window.

Download the Canadian Competition Bureau's guide to scams in 8 different languages.

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Discover common types of fraud that target small- to medium-sized businesses.