National Grid warns of phone scams
With the holidays in full swing and the COVID-19 pandemic causing financial stress on many individuals, National Grid is alerting customers about recent reports of scams where imposters are promising refunds or discounts.
Here’s how scammers are trying to prey on customers:
¯ customers may notice their caller ID displays an incoming call is from a phone number in a nearby town or even the neighborhood where they live;
¯ when customers answer the phone, a recorded message explains that due to being overbilled, they are owed refunds or discounts on their utility bills;
¯ the customer is instructed to press 1 to learn more about the refund or discount;
¯ the customer is transferred to a someone who explains that the customer is eligible for a refund or discount;
¯ the customer is then asked for personal information, which may include their utility bill account number;
¯ the scammer also may ask for the customer’s bank account number or other personal or financial information.
Divulging this level of information can lead to identity theft or customers having their bank accounts accessed. Scammers 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 phone call from an imposter’s call.
Similar scams have been reported across the U.S. by other utilities. Customers who have fallen victim to the scam should immediately contact National Grid by using the toll-free telephone numbers listed on their billing statements.