SYRACUSE, NY. – Utility bill scammers, showing frustrating persistence, continue to target National Grid customers demanding immediate payment for bill balances that customers likely do not owe. The fraudulent callers are claiming to be from National Grid and threatening customers with immediate service shut-off unless they provide payment, credit card or bank account information that can be used to access the accounts.
There have been numerous reports of these types of scams in several states over the past year and National Grid continues to advise customers to be wary of any caller who threatens service termination unless an immediate payment is made.
“Even one call is too many, but unfortunately we have received hundreds of calls from customers reporting these scams in recent months,” said Edward Hanover, National Grid security manager for New York. “Unsuspecting customers fall prey to these tactics and in some cases give up personal and bank account information.”
National Grid does contact customers with past due balances by phone to offer payment options and to remind them that service shutoff is a possibility if they fail to pay their past due balance. If customers wish, they can arrange for a payment by check, credit card, or debit card if they speak directly to a customer service representative. Payment can also be made by credit card or debit card without a representative’s assistance.
Customers should verify they are speaking with a National Grid representative. One way to do this is to have available the last five digits of their National Grid account number and ask the caller to provide those numbers. If the caller can’t provide the information, if you doubt the caller is a National Grid representative, or if have any questions about your balance, hang up immediately and call our customer contact center at 1-800-642-4272.
Some National Grid customers have experienced a phone scam involving GreenDot Money-Pak cards. They receive a call from someone who claims to be collecting from National Grid who demands immediate payment by Green Dot Money-Pak and threatens that electricity and/or natural gas will be turned off.
“National Grid does not ask customers to pay with Money-Pak cards,” Hanover said. “Remember that anyone who has the number on a Green Dot Money-Pak card has access to the funds on the card. Scammers don’t need the physical card, they need only the customer to give them the number.”
National Grid urges customers to be cautious when speaking with callers and offers helpful tips on how to protect yourself from these scams:
Every National Grid employee carries a photo ID card, and any contractor doing work for the company is also required to carry ID. If someone requesting entry into your home or place of business does not show an ID card, don’t let them in and please call National Grid or your local law enforcement.
Take charge and remember if a caller doesn’t know your account number and fishes for help, hang up immediately. Customers who believe they have fallen victim to the scam should contact National Grid and local law enforcement officials immediately.
About National Grid
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society - to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it ‘joins everything up’.
In the northeast US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.
National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
For more information please visit our website: www.nationalgridus.com