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News Release

Contact: David Pratt

406-587-6967


USDA Warns of Fraudulent Letters, Calls

 

 


Bozeman, Mont, March 27, 2012 - Officials with the U. S. Department of Agriculture have been notified that fraudulent letters and at least one fraudulent phone call have been received by individuals in a number of states.

The phone call was received by an individual in Indiana, and letters are being sent by FAX to individuals and businesses in a growing number of states. The letters and call 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". Recipients should not respond and should not supply the requested information. USDA is investigating this matter through the Office of the Inspector General. USDA first learned that the letters were being circulated on March 16, 2012.

If you suspect you have received such a letter or have been called by someone representing themselves as being from USDA seeking personal information, please contact USDA at: procurement.policy@dm.usda.gov or call 202-720-9448.

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"The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer."