ST. LOUIS (Nov. 14, 2018) – Ameren Missouri wants to warn its customers about thieves using new, more sophisticated tactics to imitate utility companies. For the third consecutive year, Ameren Missouri is partnering with 100 other electric, water and natural gas companies through the Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) collaboration group to mark today as Utility Scam Awareness Day.
Ameren and UUAS members work together to raise awareness of scams and educate consumers before they become victims. Scammers typically use phone, in-person, and online tactics to target these customers. Posing as electric, water, or natural gas company employees, scammers threaten that customers’ services will be disconnected or shut off if they fail to make an immediate payment – typically using a prepaid card or other non-traceable form of payment. They also often mask incoming calls as coming from the utility company on caller ID systems, and then give a different phone number to make a payment.
"The best way to combat scams is to know what tactics criminals use to dupe customers into giving up personal information," said Maria Gomez, Ameren security supervisor. "With the holidays approaching, scammers will be more aggressive in their attempt to steal from unknowing victims. Today is a good reminder for all of us to remain vigilant when encountering suspicious activity involving threats or immediate payment."
“Electric, water, and natural gas services are vital to our everyday lives, and scammers are continually attempting to take advantage of utility customers,” said Sheri Givens, UUAS executive director and former state utility consumer advocate. “UUAS will continue to help spread awareness of malicious and frequently evolving tactics that scammers use to target customers."
Signs of potential scam activity
How to protect yourself
About Ameren Missouri
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 127,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.
About Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS)
Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) is a consortium of more than 100 U.S. and Canadian electric, water, and natural gas utilities (and their respective trade associations). UUAS is dedicated to combating impostor utility scams by providing a forum for utilities and trade associations to share data and best practices, in addition to working together to implement initiatives to inform and protect customers. Visit www.utilitiesunited.org for more information and tips about how customers can protect themselves from impostor utility scams or follow along on social media: Twitter @U_U_A_S and Facebook @UtilitiesUnited.