A St. Louis-based utility that serves 64 of Missouri’s 114 counties is warning residents about increasing utility scams, where scammers are posing as Ameren employees and threatening to disconnect your service if you don’t pay them.
Ameren Missouri corporate security supervisor Maria Gomez urges you to be vigilant. She says the best way to combat scams is to understand the tactics that criminals use to trick customers into providing personal information.
“They (scammers) call from a masked number which means the number on your caller ID will look like it’s from Ameren customer service, but it’s not so people will pick it up,” Gomez says.
Ameren serves the St. Louis metropolitan area and almost all of mid-Missouri, northeast Missouri, and southeast Missouri. They have 1.2 million electric customers and another 130,000 natural gas customers.
Ms. Gomez is also emphasizing not to trust anyone who calls you, requesting or demanding immediate payment.
Gomez says scammers are using fake case numbers and fake truck identification numbers.
“They (scammers) have also copied our outgoing voice message, so you’ll probably hear something that sounds like an Ameren voice message. Or it could be the same one,” says Gomez.
She says other scammers are calling residents, saying they’ve overpaid on their Ameren bill. The callers request your personal bank information for your “refund.”
Gomez urges you to hang up and to contact Ameren Missouri if you have any questions. That phone number is 1-800-552-7583.
Click here to listen to Brian Hauswirth’s interview with Ameren Missouri corporate security supervisor Maria Gomez, which was recorded on November 23, 2020: