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News Release

Release No. 0106.12
Contact:
Office of Communications (202) 720-4623

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USDA Warns of Additional Fraudulent Letters and Calls

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2012--USDA officials have been notified that additional 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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USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (toll-free customer service), (800) 877-8339 (local or federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (relay voice users).