Fraudulent letters to agricultural producers have been circulating lately. They purport to be from the U. S. Department of Agriculture and ask for personal information, including social security number.

First thing that the USDA  wants you to know is they would never ask you for your social security number.

Juan Garcia, with the Ag Department's Farm Services Agency says there have even been some phone calls. He says the U.S. Inspector General is investigating.

"Hopefully the investigative process will find out who these people are who are asking for this information."

USDA officials say the timing is particularly bad because State Farm Service Offices are currently sending letters to some producers for income and eligibility verification. There are, however, no requests in the authentic communications that asked for social security numbers.