There's a new phone scam being reported, and one of its would-be victims is a business owner right here in Central New York.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office received the report and they are investigating the complaint. The local business owner says he received a call supposedly from National Grid requesting payment.

The owner of the business reported that if he did not pay over $900 via "Money Pack - Express Cards" within an hour, the business's power would be shut off. (Oneida County Sheriff via Facebook)

The business owner was smart enough to Google the incoming phone number and discovered many other similar complaints. Even if the caller sounds legitimate or seems to have some key personal information, they are almost always fishing for something else. National Grid has a lot of valuable information on their website regarding such scams:

  • National Grid representatives will know your account number; never offer that information to a caller
  • Ask the caller to provide the last five digits of your National Grid account number. If the caller doesn’t know your account number and you have any doubt the caller is a National Grid representative, or if they have any questions about account balance and fish for help, take charge and hang up immediately. Call National Grid or local law enforcement officials.
  • National Grid may ask for a payment over the phone, but will leave the method of payment to the customer
  • National Grid will not contact customers demanding immediate payment by wire transfer, Green Dot Money-Pak or any other pre-paid card service

Make sure you do your research before giving out personal information and report any suspicious activity immediately. Have you ever received a phone call demanding payment by non-traditional means? How did you handle the situation?

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