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Farm Service Agency director warns of potential imposter

July 20, 2005

COLUMBIA, Md. - Elizabeth Anderson, executive director of USDA's Farm Service Agency in Maryland, is warning farmers throughout the state of a potential imposter attempting to obtain personal bank account information.

Anderson said the U.S. Department of Agriculture "has been notified that someone, posing as a USDA employee, contacted a producer by phone and requested bank account information."

She said, "USDA will never request such information by phone."

The agency does request bank account information from producers in order to make direct deposit payments for various programs, but these types of transactions are done on USDA forms in local FSA offices, Anderson said in a press release.

Anderson says any farmer who is contacted by someone claiming to be with the USDA and requesting such information should immediately contact the local FSA county office.

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She stressed that farmers should never provide bank account or other personal information by phone.

For more information or help identifying USDA Farm Service Agency employees, contact the Washington County FSA office at 301-797-0500, ext. 2, or the Maryland State FSA Office at 1-410-381-4550.

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