NEW YORK — As utility billing and payment scams continue to pop-up across parts of New York State, National Grid is warning its customers about the signs of a scam.
In the most recent scam, callers claiming to be from National Grid contact customers and tell them their utility bills are past due. The caller may even promise the customer savings on their next bill.
With this scam, the caller threatens to shut off the customer's service unless they purchase a prepaid debit card and provide the caller with the card's account number. The caller may also ask for the customer's social security number and National Grid account number.
According to National Grid, customers reported being contacted by phone, email and even in automated recordings. National Grid says the scenario can change but it's a scam all the same. The scams aim to scare customers into making hasty decisions, such as paying a large sum of money.
National Grid issued a statement, which reads in part:
"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."
National Grid also notes that scammer's calls can replicate National Grid's recorded messaging and directions for phone prompts. Scammers can even spoof National Grid's phone number and caller ID, making it difficult for a customer to tell the difference between an actual call from National Grid and a fake one.
Anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of one of these scams is told to contact their local law enforcement agency as soon as possible.
Fore more information about how to protect yourself from scams, click here.