Scammers call residents, pose as utility
COLUMBIA - Scammers are pretending to be with Columbia Water and Light and Ameren, calling residents and businesses to tell them their utilities will be disconnected if they do not provide payment information over the phone.
A news release from the city said the set-up appears "very legitimate." The scammers, who claim to be with the City of Columbia Utility Customer Service and AmerenUE, provide claim numbers and employee identification numbers.
The city said the scammers have an authentic sounding phone system that says people have reached "Columbia Utility Customer Services."
The city and Ameren do not ask people by phone for payment with debit, credit or green dot cards.
The phone calls come in with 1-800 numbers so far, the city said.
The city advised residents to never give out personal information to unfamiliar people and to call the utility to verify the information.
Anyone with questions about utility billing are encouraged to call 573-874-7380. The city also said to report fraud to law enforcement.