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Phone scam strikes sheriff's office

LUVERNE -- No, the Rock County Sheriff's Office is not selling any kind of advertising.

According to Rock County Sheriff Evan Verbrugge, people in the area have received phone calls lately that are a complete scam. He was informed of a call by a local business owner, who said she had received a solicitation.

"Somebody is calling up businesses and saying, 'I'm Mrs. Jones from the Rock County Sheriff's Office, and we're selling advertising," Verbrugge said Wednesday.

The business owner told the caller she wasn't interested, hung up and called Verbrugge.

"We were getting calls yesterday non-stop, it seemed," he stated. "People calling to say they had received a call that we were trying to sell advertising."

None of the callers reported a phone number captured by caller ID, he added.

Verbrugge contacted the media so he could get word out that the soliciting phone calls are some kind of scam that has nothing to do with his office.

"We put it up on Facebook and are trying to get word out to as many people as possible," he said. "This is a scam, so please do not give out any information to the callers."

On the Rock County Sheriff's Office Facebook page, several people have reported receiving a phone call, which suggests it is not only area businesses being targeted, but private individuals also.

Nobles County Sheriff Kent Wilkening said he has not received any similar complaints involving Nobles County. The Minnesota Sheriff's Association does occasionally solicit donations, but does not sell advertising and not by phone.

"Anything sent out would have to be approved by that individual county's sheriff, and the letter would have his signature," Wilkening explained.

His best advice to those who do receive this kind of call would be to state that they prefer to donate locally and hang up.