News 4 Investigates: Scammers posing as Ameren target local busi -

News 4 Investigates: Scammers posing as Ameren target local businesses

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If you're one of the thousands who lost power in recent storms, you know how frustrating it is to be in the dark.

Criminals capitalize on that feeling and now, local police departments are warning you to be aware of a resurgence of what's called the Ameren scam.

"It just didn't sound legitimate to me at all,” said Jeannie Kratz.

Kratz, the office manager at Ballwin Dental, got the call in 2015.

"Unfortunately your meter at this location is set to be interrupted today within the next 45 minutes to an hour, due to lack of payment on the account,” the caller said.

The caller demanded that Jeannie pay up or be without power.

"As a dental office we need electricity so that was a little shocking,” Kratz said.

Thankfully she didn't, but other businesses in the past have taken the bait.

That's why the Troy, Missouri Police Department put a warning on their Facebook page.

Ameren tells News 4 they've received close to 150 reports of scams around Missouri and Illinois in July.

The scammers ask businesses to load the money onto a Green Dot Money Pak card. Ameren says often the criminals target specific businesses and call at the busy lunch hour when managers are distracted.

Some businesses have lost hundreds of dollars to the scammers. Ameren says beware.

“We will not ask for account information, credit card information, or Social Security number over the phone,” said Tim Reagan, Senior Director of Security for Ameren.  

Police say if you get the call, ask them for your account information. If they can't provide it, hang up and call Ameren directly.

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