Police warn customers of utility bill scam

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BY NICOLE A. HAWLEY

Staff writer

Rome Police are reminding area residents to be aware of a utility bill scam.

Some city residents have received calls from individuals claiming to work for National Grid.

These scammers demand payment, through a pre-paid card, on past due balances for electric accounts and threaten customers that their service will immediately be shut-off for non-payment, Capt. Timothy J. Bates said.

In some cases, the caller also tells the customer they may have a faulty meter that is dangerous and in need of replacing for a substantial fee, he said.

The electric meter is the property of National Grid and customers are not responsible for meter replacement costs. 

Intended victims are then directed to purchase a pre-paid card to make an immediate payment in order to keep their power on.

Bates said National Grid does contact customers with past due balances by phone to offer payment options, but never demands direct payment over the phone.

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 who have received calls demanding immediate payment through a pre-paid card or who may have been given fraudulent phone numbers for National Grid, should make note of the company’s published customer service number.

To verify information and for any billing-related questions, customers should call National Grid’s Customer Support at 1-800-642-4272.

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