Holiday season prime time for scam artists

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- Tis the season for giving, but it's also a prime time for scam artists. The scams involve phone calls, letters and social media.

One of these scams is targeting Ameren Missouri customers. It's a phone scam where the caller is using intimidation.

And this is not a new scam. News 11 and FOX 2 were the first to report about this scam a couple of months ago.

Ameren officials say the scam involves a threat to cut off electricity.

The scam artists usually target small businesses like the hair salon we profiled in October

Ameren says a caller clams to be with Ameren and threatens to shut down power unless an outstanding bill is paid.

Similar scams have also surfaced in Illinois.

Ameren reminds its customers they don't call or show up at your door to disconnect service.

And, they say if you do receive a call like this call their customer service department  and never give out your credit card or debit number or checking account information  to someone claiming that you are about to lose power.

The other scam involves the well known Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes.

Someone is sending out letters with million dollar checks that inform the resident they have won the Annual Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes.

The letter includes a phone number with the scam artists trying to convince the caller to give out personal information such as bank account or social security number.

A Publisher Clearing House spokesperson says they never mail award letters, they always go in person to the home of a winner.

Publisher's Clearing House has also issued a scam alert about a Facebook scam in which people on their fan page are sent a message in their inbox about sinning.

Publisher's Clearing House says it does not privatelymessage winner on Facebook.

And if you get a call or letter involving these scams always contact your local police department and the Better Business Bureau.

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