Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ameren Illinois Warns Residents of Growing Scams

Across the nation, scams are growing at an alarming rate, with scam artists using more creative ways than ever before to trick unsuspecting residents and businesses.   While there are many tactics the thieves will use, one common scheme targets utility customers and threatens service disconnection if the scammers are not paid immediately using a Green Dot or pre-paid credit.  Here's how it works:

Residents or businesses receive a call from a con artist posing as a representative of Ameren.  The caller tells the intended victim that their electric service will be disconnected, usually later that day, if the “past due amount” is not paid immediately.  They instruct the victim to purchase a pre-paid money card  usually in an amount ranging from $300 to $1000.  The customer is then directed to call a specified number and provide the identification numbers on the back of the card.  This allows the scammer to transfer the money to his or her own card without a trace.    

These fraudulent attempts are occurring throughout the Ameren Illinois territory.  We generally see 12 – 25 scam attempts each week.   And, unfortunately, some are successful.  We would like to ask your help in reaching out to the businesses in your communities to make them aware of this activity.  Attached are two formats of the Green Dot scam warning which could be included in your newsletter. 

Ameren Illinois want residents to know that Ameren does not demand immediate payments.  Ameren sends disconnect notices through the mail if customers are at risk of service disconnection. People who receive this type of call should hang up.  Customers can confirm the status of their Ameren Illinois accounts at 1-800-755-5000 or at www.AmerenIllinois.com

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