WASHINGTON – Fraudulent letters are being sent by fax to individuals and businesses in at least four states, the US Department of Agriculture officials said March 16.

The letters purportedly come from a USDA procurement officer and seek personal information, but the letters are false and USDA is urging recipients not to respond with personal and financial information, according to the agency.

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.

USDA is investigating the matter through the Office of the Inspector General.