Scammers taking advantage of heat wave by posing as Ameren employees in calls

ST. LOUIS - Some scam artists are trying to take advantage of the heat wave by calling customers pretending to be Ameren employees and threatening to turn off the air conditioning.

Lydia Killoran, who owns Merit Home Health Care, received a call to her business Thursday from someone claiming to be an Ameren employee saying they were going to shut off her power at 3 p.m.

Killoran said they told her that her last checks had not gone through the bank. She would be getting a refund in the mail on Monday, but in the meantime, she needed to get a prepaid card and call them back with that account number.

Killoran immediately realized this was a scam, so she hung up and called Ameren to make a report. The woman she spoke with told Lydia she was the 15th call about this scam.

Ameren Corporate Security Supervisor Maria Gomez said the company doesn’t typically call customers; if a call sounds urgent, that should be a red flag.

“Anything that sounds very urgent or demanding, we have a truck 15 minutes away, they are on their way, stuff that makes it sound like it’s in a hurry or urgent, that’s usually a red flag because Ameren doesn’t call to do that. There is usually correspondence,” said Gomez.

Gomez said the best thing to do if you get a call is to hang up and call the Ameren customer service number on their website, not the number the caller may give you.