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ACS, sheriff's office alert residents to phone scams



A company claiming to be "East Ottertail" has been calling area businesses asking for information to update its phone records for directory listing information.

This company is not associated with Arvig Communication Systems (ACS), company officials cautioned Thursday.

The Hubbard County Sheriff's Office also reported receiving complaints of possible phone scams and/or Internet fraud Thursday.

Sheriff Gary Mills said citizens were reporting receiving phone calls requesting personal information, such as Social Security numbers, bank account information and e-mail addresses.

According to ACS, unauthorized callers are telling businesses they are a part of their local phone directory, which is untrue.

"Area businesses that receive a call from this "company" should ask them for their name and contact information," advised Mitch Raile, ACS public relations representative.

This usually results in a hang-up from the calling party. "Businesses are advised not to give these unauthorized callers any information," Raile said. "ACS does not conduct business in this matter, has not hired another firm to do so and appreciates the public's help in stopping these calls."

If businesses do receive a call from "East Ottertail," they are asked to contact ACS customer service at 866-YES-4ACS immediately.

The sheriff's office reminds everyone to use caution when receiving calls from anyone requesting personal information, and to remember: "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't true."

To report suspected fraudulent calls, contact the Minnesota Attorney General's Office hotline at 800-657-3787 or the sheriff's office at 732-3331.