Phone scam hits Charleston

Callers who have called from a 773 (Edwardsville) area code have been claiming they were the billing or customer service department for the Ameren Power Company.

They are telling Charleston residents that their last payment for their power bill did not clear, and that their power will be shut off if they did not receive immediate payment.

They are asking customers for their credit card number or to get a MoneyPak, “which is similar to a money order and is able to be used anywhere that PayPal is accepted,” according to a Charleston Police Department press release.

The press release said residents then calls them with the MoneyPak number, similar to a credit card number, and give it to them over the phone. The scammer then takes all of the money off the card and keeps it.

Even though the calls have been reportedly coming from an Edwardsville area, it is likely not their actual location.

“The number is being forwarded somewhere else, possibly even overseas,” according to the press release.

These scammers are in no way affiliated with Ameren. The actual phone number for Ameren is 800-755-5000 for residential and 800-232-2477 for business.

The press release said residents should be mindful when companies call asking for bills to be paid over the phone.

The staff of The Daily Eastern News can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]