BLOOMINGTON — Scam artists may use intimidation and other tactics to try to defraud Ameren customers during the busy holiday season. So Ameren is providing tips to customers to reduce the risk of that happening.

Ameren urges customers to be on alert for phone calls from people who threaten disconnection of utility service unless a payment with a Green Dot Money Pak card or other pre-paid card is made. Scammers also mimic voice recordings that appear to be from utilities to persuade customers to make an immediate payment.

"We want to alert our customers that we have also received reports of door-to-door scams and suspicious emails demanding payment," said Tim Reagan, Ameren director of corporate security. "To safeguard all of our customers, it's important that anyone who has been subject to these intimidation tactics to call Ameren and their local police department."

Ameren also offers the following tips:

  • Never give your credit card, debit card, Social Security, ATM, checking or savings account numbers to anyone who comes to your home, calls or sends an email. Ameren never demands personal, account or financial information for immediate payment.
  • Never let anyone into your home claiming to be from the utility unless they show proper Ameren badge identification. Ameren employees don't come to a home without a scheduled appointment and employees aren't allowed to take payments in the field.
  • Never open an email attachment unless you have contacted Ameren for the information. Ameren doesn't send emails that include attachments unless the information was requested.

If you suspect someone of impersonating an Ameren employee, end the conversation and call 800-755-5000.

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Health Reporter

Health reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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