Ameren Illinois is alerting customers to a telephone scam.

Quincy Police and Ameren officials say residents of Quincy and Adams County have received calls claiming to be from Ameren. Police say a caller tells the intended victim they are behind on payments to Ameren and power will be shut off in two hours unless payment is made within two hours. The would-be victim is then directed to us a prepaid debit card to make immediate payment.

Police say payment amounts range from four hundred to two thousand dollars.

Small businesses have also occasionally been targeted.

Ameren officials say they do not demand immediate payments. Contact Ameren at the number on your bill if you have concerns about your accounts.