“Guaranteed loan approval; receive funds in 24 hours.” “No credit check; interest rates starting at 0%; only low application fee required.” These statements may sound pretty good to a small-business owner in desperate need of capital.

But, as the old saying goes, “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” says Carolina Martinez, CEO of CAMEO, California’s statewide micro-business network. Just because it’s the most frequent appealing solution you’re hearing doesn’t mean it’s the right solution, she says.

Many small businesses are still recovering from the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the end of the Paycheck Protection Program and bank loan approvals below 20%, scammers and predatory lenders are taking the opportunity to move in on businesses that are searching for funding.

Protect yourself from potential bad actors and find legitimate capital for your business with these four tips.

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