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BLOOMINGTON — Bloomington Police are warning the public about several scams, including two that involve a utility company.

The department says the first scam happens like this:

The victim, often a small business owner, receives a call from a con artist posing as an Ameren employee. The caller tells the customer that electric service will be disconnected, usually later that day, if the past-due amount is not paid immediately.

The caller instructs the victim to purchase a Green Dot Money Pak or Vanilla Reload card. The victim is then directed to call a specified number and provide the identification number on the back of the card, which allows the scammer to transfer the money without a trace.

Ameren discourages the use of Green Dot Money Pak and Vanilla Reload cards to pay your bill. If you are a victim of this scam, ask for their name and tell them you will call back. Then call Ameren to report the incident.

In addition, Bloomington Police are warning the public about a nationwide email scam requesting you to make an immediate payment by opening an attachment.

Police said the attachment is believed to be a virus. Do not respond to the request or message, do not open any attachments and delete the email immediately.

In a related door-to-door scam, Bloomington Police said a person claiming to be an Ameren representative comes to your home. Ask for photo identification clearly showing an Ameren logo. If they do not have any, call Ameren to report this scam.

If you have questions about Ameren scams or your account, call Ameren Illinois at 800-755-5000.

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