February 16, 2017
Reported utility billing and payment scams are resurfacing once again in New England. And National Grid is warning its customers to beware and know the signs of a scam.
Customers who reported the scams say they were contacted by telephone by individuals who claim to be from National Grid and who advised the customers they have a past due balance on their utility bill.
The scammers warn that service will be shut off immediately unless the customer purchases a prepaid debit card in a specific amount, such as Green Dot card, and provides the caller with the cardís account number, or in the case of business customers, by way of a Western Union money transfer. This is a huge warning sign.
The scenario can change, but the goal of the scammer remains the same: scare customers into making hasty, often large payments.
National Grid does contact customers with past due balances by phone to offer payment options, but never demands direct payment through the use of a prepaid debit card and never accepts payment through these cards.
Scam artists have become increasingly sophisticated in replicating National Gridís recorded messaging and directions for phone prompts, making it more difficult to differentiate an actual National Grid call from an imposterís call. Similar scams have been reported across the U.S. by other utilities.
Customers who believe they have fallen victim to the scam should contact National Grid and local law enforcement officials immediately.
National Grid urges customers to know the red flags and offers the following tips:
About National Grid
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain.
Through its U.S. Connect21 strategy, National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions. Connect21 is vital to our communities' long-term economic and environmental health and aligns with regulatory initiatives in New York (REV: Reforming the Energy Vision) and Massachusetts (Grid Modernization).