Utilities scam targets businesses - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Utilities scam targets businesses


Multiple law enforcement agencies warn of a utilities scam targeting businesses

Police in Jackson, Missouri say they have received reports of businesses getting phone calls from someone claiming to be with Ameren utilities or the City of Jackson and saying their utilities will be shut off.

Union County, Ill. State's Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds says several Union County businesses have received unsolicited phone calls from someone claiming to be with Ameren.

According to police, the caller says the businesses electric will be shut off in an hour unless they pay a certain amount of money.

The City of Jackson does not operate like this.

If you get a phone call like this, before you pay anything, police say to verify with your utility provider what your may or may not owe.

Do not disclose sensitive financial or identification information over the phone unless you placed the call or you are sure of the company or individual you are speaking with.

If your utilities are provided by the City of Jackson, you can call City Hall at 243-3568 and verify with them.

Union County resident can call the Union County State's Attorney's Office at 618-833-7216.

Ameren has some tips to help protect customers in Missouri and Illinois from scam artists.

They urge customers to be on alert for phone calls from people who threaten to disconnect a utility service unless a payment is made immediately.

Here are some tips from Ameren:

  • Ameren never demands personal, account or financial information for immediate payment. Never give your credit card, debit card, Social Security, ATM, checking or saving account numbers to anyone who comes to your home, calls or sends an email requesting this information.
  • Never let anyone into your home claiming to be from the utility unless they show proper Ameren badge identification. Our employees are not allowed to take payments in the field.
  • Ameren never sends emails that include attachments, unless you've contacted us to specifically request information. Never open attachments unless you've contacted Ameren for the information.

If you suspect someone is impersonating an Ameren employee, Ameren says to end the conversation and immediately call Ameren Illinois at 1-800-755-5000 or Ameren Missouri at 1-800-552-7583.

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