Scammers preying on National Grid customers

Scammers preying on National Grid customers

PROVIDENCE - Despite previous consumer outreach, Rhode Island business owners and homeowners are still falling prey to the latest scam where they are being contacted by phone by individuals claiming to be from National Grid and advising the customers they have a past due balance on their utility bill.

According to state Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, these scammers warn customers that service will be shut off immediately, unless the customer agrees to allow for an immediate payment, unwittingly giving the scam artist access to sensitive bank and credit card information. Consumers are also being asked to make payment using a "Green Dot" card.

Rhode Island consumers are not the only ones being targeted. National Grid customers in Massachusetts have also received phone calls, and attorneys general nationwide have received consumer complaints about similar scams.

National Grid is warning its customers to beware of the latest on-going episode of utility billing scams. National Grid does contact customers with past due balances by phone to offer payment options, but never demands direct payment over the telephone, according to a spokesman. 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 and are asked for bank account information should contact National Grid immediately. To verify information and for any billing-related questions in New England, customers should call National Grid's Customer Contact Center at 1-800-322-3223.