Utility scams are on the rise in Southern Illinois and Ameren is offering customers advice on how not to be tricked.

The company said in a release on Wednesday customers should be on high alert.

“The best way to combat scams is to understand the tactics criminals use to trick people into giving up their personal information,” Shirley Stennis, director of Customer Service at Ameren Illinois, said. “Scammers have become more sophisticated by masking phone numbers to appear that the call is from Ameren Illinois or by calling residential or business customers during busy times of the day in an effort to confuse their victims.”

Scammers will often pose as Ameren employees and use fear, threatening to disconnect or shut off service to customers, to get a payment. They may also mask incoming calls to make it seem as though they are coming from the company, according to Ameren.

Ameren said the best ways to spot a scam include understanding these techniques and understanding scammers may claim a person needs to pay for equipment, or bogus repair fees, or an overpayment that the company would not normally ask for.

Some key ways to protect yourself according to the company include:

For more information, visitAmeren.com/stop-scams. Customers should also follow Ameren Illinois on social media to receive the latest updates on scams.

Read more…