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Report imposters demanding immediate payment or attempting to access your home
Summertime is the hottest season for scammers. Reported utility billing and payment scams are resurfacing once again across National Grid’s U.S. service area and around the Northeast. 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 and email, and in some case automated recordings, claiming to be from National Grid and who advised the customers they have a past due balance on their utility bill, even promising a savings on their next bill. The company has also received reports of imposters posing as National Grid employees attempting to gain access to customers’ homes.
The scammers threaten that service will be shut off immediately unless the customer purchases a prepaid debit card in a specific amount, such as a Green Dot card, and provides the caller with the card’s account number, or in the case of business customers, by way of a Western Union money transfer. This is a huge warning sign. These calls are not officially from National Grid and are used as a way for scammers to obtain account information.
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 Grid’s recorded messaging and directions for phone prompts, making it more difficult to differentiate an actual National Grid call from an imposter’s 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: