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Utility companies warn of identity theft scams

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Customers of MidAmerican Energy and Ameren beware – identity thieves might be after your personal information.

Both companies issued statements in recent days warning customers that scammers are making calls and even visiting customer homes in an effort to get credit card and Social Security numbers. 

The callers are reportedly identifying themselves as customer service associates or attorneys representing the utility.  They sometimes tell the customer their account is past due and that payment is needed immediately to avoid disconnection. 

In a separate scam, Ameren says scammers tell customers the president is applying credits of up to $1,500 to the customer’s utility bill.  The thief then gives the customer a phony bank routing number and asks the customer to add their Social Security number to receive the “credit”.  These scammers are contacting customers by phone, in person, posting fliers, using social media and even text messaging.

“We have identified customer accounts that may have been scammed by these identity thieves and are notifying them.” said Carole Hunt, assistant treasurer, Ameren Services. “We carefully guard our customers’ account information and always advise them to use Ameren-authorized payment methods.”

MidAmerican Energy warns customers who are uncertain about the legitimacy of any caller who says they’re with the utility to end the conversation and call MidAmerican Energy’s customer service line at (888) 427-5632. 

Ameren customers with questions or concerns can call the company’s Illinois customer service office at (800) 755-5000.