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Banks Report Record Spike in Fraud as U.S. Business-Aid Flows

  • Suspicious activity reports for loans hit 14 times average
  • Small Business Administration official warned of fraud in July

U.S. banks and credit unions reported skyrocketing levels of suspected business-loan fraud last month, a period that coincided with growing awareness of scams involving government small-business aid programs.

Financial institutions filed 1,922 suspicious-activity reports involving business-loan fraud in August, data from the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network show. That’s about 14 times the monthly average for the six years beginning in 2014, the earliest date for which data is available. It’s the fourth consecutive monthly record.