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Ameren warns customers of scams during the holiday season

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SCAM

(WSIL) -- As the holiday season nears, Ameren wants to protect customers in Illinois and Missouri from sophisticated scammers who are aggressively targeting utility customers.

Ameren is joining utility companies worldwide for the sixth consecutive year for the Utility Scam Awareness Day on Nov.17, 2021. The campaign seeks to raise awareness of scams and educate customers before they become victims.

HOW TO SPOT A SCAM

  • Know the different forms of scams such as phone calls, text messages, in person, and online tactics to target customers into providing personal information or payment.
  • Scammers often pose as Ameren employees, threatening to disconnect or shut off service if a customer fails to make an immediate payment – typically using a prepaid card or a cash app.
  • They also often mask incoming calls so they appear to be from Ameren on caller ID systems, and then give a different phone number to make a payment.
  • Scammers seize the opportunity to target customers during busy or high-anxiety times such as the holiday season, COVID-19 pandemic, or extreme weather.
  • Door Knocking Impostor: Door-to-door impostors pose as utility workers to gain entry or access into unsuspecting victims’ homes.
  • Social Media Charity Scam: Social media posts are telling customers that a charity will pay for their utility bills if the customer first makes a partial payment by money transfer.
  • Scammers offer suggestions on form of payment: loading an app, bitcoin, or locations of where to get cash cards.

KEYS TO PROTECTING YOURSELF

  • Never give your credit card, debit card, social security, ATM, checking or savings account numbers to anyone who calls, sends a text message or email, or comes to your home requesting this information.
  • Don't trust anyone asking for immediate payment. If you suspect someone is impersonating an Ameren employee, end the conversation and immediately call Ameren Illinois at 1.800.755.5000 or Ameren Missouri at 1.800.552.7583.
  • Never purchase a prepaid card to avoid service disconnection or shutoff. Legitimate utility companies do not specify how customers should make a bill payment and always offer a variety of ways to pay a bill. Ameren customers can make payments online, by phone, electronic check, by mail or at in-person pay locations.
  • For more information, visit Ameren.com/stop-scams. Customers should also follow Ameren on social media to receive the latest updates on scams.
  • Sign up to manage your account online at Ameren.com where you can immediately check the status of your account.

Have a news tip or story idea? Email us at news@wsiltv.com

Digital Content Manager

Kenzie Dillow joined the team in 2016 as an editor, moved to Producer in 2017 & took over the Digital Content Manager position in 2021. Kenzie graduated from SIUC in 2016 with a degree in Sports Broadcasting and Advertising.

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