Officials with the United States Department of Agriculture were recently notified that additional fraudulent letters and at least one fraudulent phone call were 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 machine to individuals and businesses in a growing number of states.
The letters and call purportedly came from a USDA procurement officer and sought personal information.
The 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 currently investigating the matter through the Office of the Inspector General.
USDA first learned the letters were being circulated March 16, 2012.
Those suspecting they have received such a letter or have been called by someone representing themselves as being from USDA seeking personal information call contact USDA at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-202-720-9448.