Chief’s Column: National Grid warns of payment scam

SandyFixNational Grid has sent out notices to municipal agencies and police chiefs regarding a nationwide utility bill scam.  To ensure that everyone is informed, the Grafton Police Department is providing a copy of the press release recently issued by National Grid.

NATIONAL GRID WARNS OF PAYMENT SCAM

National Grid electric customers have received telephone 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.  In some cases the caller also tells the customer that they may have a faulty meter that is dangerous and in need of replacing for a substantial fee.  The electric meter is the property of National Grid. Customers are not responsible for meter replacement costs. Callers are then directed to purchase a pre-paid card to make an immediate payment in order to keep their power on.

National Grid does contact customers with past due balances by phone to offer payment options, but never demands direct payment over the telephone.  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 in New England, customers should call National Grid’s Customer Contact Center at Customer Service (electric) at 800-322-3223 and Customer Service (gas) at (800) 640-1595.

Anyone with questions for the Chief’s Column may submit them by mail to the Grafton Police Department, 28 Providence Road, Grafton, MA 01519.  You may also email your questions or comments to chief@graftonpolice.com.  Please include an appropriate subject line, as I do not open suspicious email for obvious reasons.

Normand A. Crepeau, Jr.

Chief of Police

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