(WSIL) -- With the holidays approaching, families and businesses are even more vulnerable to scams.
We've reported utility scams in Mount Vernon, but the Benton area has been affected as well.
Power company, Ameren Illinois, says they've seen a spike in scams where alleged crooks pose as some of their employees, using text messages,
emails and people showing up at houses to try to swindle victims.
Ameren Illinois spokesperson Brian Bretsch says for the past two months -- they've had 1400 customers call about scams.
To avoid falling victim to an impersonator, Bretsch says they always contact customers before coming to their homes.
When they do come, they always wear a yellow Ameren hat, work vest and a badge with their picture and ID number.
He says if you're hesitant about a bill or someone visiting your home -- you can call their 1-800-number: 800-755-5000.
"We simply do not do that our protocol is to always work with the customer, to work out a payment arrangement. If someone is demanding an immediate payment, in any case, whether it's at your door, close the door. Via email, text or phone call, simply do not respond," he said.
The Ameren Illinois website says in 2019, they only had 750 scams. If you feel unsafe, call 911.