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Ameren Illinois says be on the lookout for phone scams threatening to shut off power within the hour

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Bretsch, Brian E

Phone calls from people pretending to be from Ameren Illinois are going to Williamson and Jackson county residents, threatening to immediately shut off their electricity, or natural gas, if they don't pay their bill within the hour.

Brian Bretsch, Ameren spokesman says if you receive one of these scam calls the number might show up as Ameren.

"It does come up as unknown, sometimes they are able to mask the phone number to make it look like it's an Ameren Illinois number. First thing you wanted to do is give Ameren Illinois a call at 1-800-755-5000."

In addition, Bretsch says to call the police and report the scam. He adds Ameren Illinois will never call and demand payment within the hour.

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