Be careful of scammers posing as power company representatives threatening disconnection if you don’t make an immediate payment.
The targets of these scams are often businesses, mainly because of the number of bills they receive. Sometimes the fraud attempt is perpetrated by phone, but occasionally a scammer will appear in person dressed in a fake uniform. Although small businesses tend to be a focus, other targets often include senior citizens and non-English speaking people. However, anyone can be a target of this scam.
They typically demand immediate payment via pre-paid money card, credit card or bank account information you provide, indicating a utility worker is on the way to shut your power off. Recent local scams have been conducted by people falsely representing Ameren officials, but it could happen with any utility company. As the weather turns colder, some people may be particularly frightened into making a payment to avoid having the heat shut off.
What if this happens to you?
- Do not give out personal information (i.e. bank account numbers and login information, credit card details, Social Security numbers)
- Hang up the phone or close the door
- Immediately contact your utility company to report the scam attempt