Ameren Illinois and a number of other utility service providers are making customers aware of potential scammers.
According to Ameren, in the last four years, an estimated 3,000 scams have been reported – in addition to scams that go unreported. It is also estimated that the scams have cost Ameren customers roughly $75,000 in the last four years. Senior Director of Division Operations for Ameren in the Galesburg area is Craig Gilson who says scams can be face to face, by mail, email, or door to door. “The most common we see are the phone scams,” Gilson said. “You’ll see some door-to-door, it’s usually elderly customers or someone with a small business. Usually they’ll say – “We have an Ameren crew en route….they’re going to disconnect your power if we don’t receive a payment…” Gilson says Ameren gives customers plenty of notice before power is disconnected – so a big red flag is someone saying “a crew is on their way” or “your power will be cut immediately.” Other red flags include the caller requests personal information – like a social security number, a password, or bank account number – or if they request an unusual payment method like a wire transfer or prepaid card. Wednesday. November 15th is Utilities Scam Awareness Day – customers can take to social media by using the hashtag: Stop Scams. For more information on what to be aware of in regards to scammers – visit www.ameren.com or www.utilitiesunited.org.