National Grid warns of phony refund, discount scam

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Between the holidays and pandemic-caused financial stress, National Grid is warning its customers that scammers have stepped up their game to trick you out of your money.

National Grid officials said utility companies across the country have reported complaints where scammers pose as employees promising refunds or discounts. Officials said the scammers use technology to make their telephone number look local on your Caller ID. They said a recorded message will then tell the listener that they have been overbilled and are owed a refund or discount on their utility bills.

The listener is then instructed to press “1” on their phone to learn more about the offer. The listener is then put in touch with a person who will explain the offer and ask for personal information, including their utility bill account number. The scammer may also ask for bank account or other personal or financial information, officials stated.

“Scammers have become increasingly sophisticated in replicating National Grid’s recorded messaging and directions for phone prompts, making it more difficult to differentiate an actual National Grid phone call from an imposter’s call,” officials stated.

Advice for avoiding scams:

• Do not cave to pressure. Never, under any circumstances, offer personal or financial information to someone you cannot identify.

• Scammers will not have access to your account information, and you should never provide that information if you are asked. Real National Grid representatives who call you will already have your account number.

• Verify that you are speaking with a National Grid representative by asking them to provide the last five digits of your account number.

• If the caller does not know your account number in advance, hang up the telephone.

Any National Grid customers who fall victim to the scam are advised to immediately contact National Grid by using the toll-free telephone number located on your billing statement.

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