National Grid warns of payment scam

NATIONAL GRID released a statement warning against a utility bill scam and reminding its customers that it never asks for payment information over the phone.
Posted 4/9/13

WALTHAM, Mass. – Utility company National Grid is warning its customers of a nationwide utility bill scam demanding over-the-phone payments for past-due balances.

According to a release, National Grid electric customers have received telephone calls from individuals claiming to work for the utility. The scammers demand payment on past-due balances through a pre-paid credit card.

The callers threaten customers with service shut-offs if they fail to pay immediately over the phone. The scammers direct the customers to purchase a pre-paid credit care in order to make an immediate payment and keep their power on.

In some cases, the scammers have even told National Grid electric customers that they may have a faulty meter that is dangerous and in need of replacing for a “substantial fee,” according to a release from the utility company.

Electric meters are the property of the utility company and customers are not responsible for meter replacement costs.

National Grid is reminding customers that, although it does contact customers with past-due balances by phone to offer payment options, the utility “never demands direct payment over the telephone,” said the release.

Customers who have received calls from the scammers 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: (800) 322-3223.

National Grid asks that any customers who wish to verify information for billing-related questions in New England contact National Grid’s Customer Contact center at the number listed above.

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