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FSA customers cautioned on fraudulent calls

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news Ellsworth, 54011
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

According to Linda Paul, Executive Director for the Pierce County Farm Service Agency (FSA), many FSA offices have been contacted by producers who are getting fraudulent calls from individuals posing as FSA employees who are offering a package deal for power tools.

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"FSA employees do not and will not call individuals offering to sell items or package deals to producers," said Paul.

Wisconsin consumer protection officials say consumers should hang up on telemarketer requests for personal information like credit card or bank account numbers.

"This is a common telemarketing scam," said Sandy Chalmers, Administrator of Trade and Consumer Protection. "To get your credit card number, criminals will tell you they're from the IRS, Medicare or even the Farm Service Agency."

The Department of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) offers the following tips regarding fraudulent phone solicitation:

--Resist high pressure sales tactics. Legitimate businesses respect the fact someone's not interested.

--Take some time. Ask for written information about the product, service, investment opportunity or charity that's the subject of the call.

--Before responding to a phone solicitation, talk to a friend, family member or financial advisor. Financial investments may have consequences for people cared about.

--Check out testimonials to make sure they're genuine, not statements that have been bought or paid for.

--Don't send money--cash, check or money order--by courier, overnight delivery or wire to anyone who insists on immediate payment.

--Keep information about bank accounts and credit cards to oneself--unless knowing who's being dealt with.

--Before paying, check out the company with the Bureau of Consumer Protection. Call toll-free: 1-800-422-7128.

For more information or if believing one of these fraudulent calls has been received, contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection by calling toll-free at 1-800-422-7128 or emailing datcphotline@wisconsin.gov.

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