Date July 16, 2021 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), warns member of the produce industry to beware of a fraudulent “phishing” scam where criminals have been sending fraudulent email messages using the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act Division (PACA) name.
The scam asks recipients of the fraudulent email to click on a link or open a file that may release a virus onto your computer.
The bogus email is being sent from a Gmail, paca.com, or other non-government email account. The phony email tells the recipients that their PACA license has been suspended and asks them to click on an attachment or click a link to make a payment. This is not a legitimate email and the attachment and links may contain a virus.
If you receive an email that looks suspicious, follow these steps:
- Do NOT click on any links or attachments.
- Do NOT reply to the email; direct questions regarding your PACA license to 1-800-495-7222, option 1.
- Do NOT forward the email to anyone, including any PACA email address. Forwarding the email increases the chances of the virus escaping.
- Delete the email from your computer completely and be sure to empty your “trash can” or “recycling bin.”
This is a general announcement. No additional action is required from you at this time.