Because of the “frustrating persistence” of utility bill scammers, National Grid has issued a warning to be on the lookout for fake callers trying to steal your money.
The scammers pretend to be National Grid over the telephone and threaten immediate service shut-off unless the would-be victim provides payment, either via credit card or bank account information, authorities said. According to National Grid, these scams are conducted throughout the country.
National Grid does legitimately contact customers over the phone if a bill is past due, officials said, and it is important to be able to tell a real employee from a scammer.
“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.”
• Never offer your account number to a caller. If it was really National Grid, they would already know your account number.
• Real National Grid employees may ask for payment over the phone, but they leave the payment up to the customer instead of making demands or suggestions.
• National Grid will not demand immediate payment via wire transfer or any tip of pre-paid credit card service.
• All National Grid employees have official identification cards, including on-site contractors. Do not let anyone into your home if they claim to be from National Grid but do not have their ID card.
People who believe they have fallen victim to a scam should contact National Grid and local law enforcement officials.