USDA officials learned late Friday afternoon, March 16th, 2012, that fraudulent letters are being sent by FAX to individuals and businesses in at least four states. The letters purportedly come from a USDA procurement officer and seek personal information. These letters are false and in no case should a recipient respond with personal and financial information. The fraudulent letters bear USDA's logo and seal and are signed by an individual identified as Frank Rutenberg using a title of Senior Procurement Officer. Letters have been received by FAX in Alabama, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, but may have also been sent to other states. Recipients should not respond and should not supply the requested information. USDA is investigating this matter through the Office of the Inspector General.
USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) North Carolina is alerting - and warning - farmers concerning the scam letter, the purpose of that letter, and how to recognize its forms and names.
Producers are advised that, should they receive such a letter, the matter should be reported to their FSA County Office. Producers absolutely should not provide any personal information to the reply address contained in the scam letter.
Again - if you have any questions - call USDA at 202-720-9448