Residents in New York State have been warned by National Grid that aggressive scammers are posing as employees of the electricity and gas utility company, and insisting that customers make a payment, or risk having their service disconnectd!

A colleague of mine, who lives here in Upstate, NY told me about an incoming call he received this morning from the number below and while he didn't take the call from the unknown person, the scammers did leave a message.

Photo: Brian Cody TSM
National Grid Scam - Incoming Call

What kind of voicemail do the scammers leave?

Here's what the v-mail looks like, transcribed:

Hello, this is Lisa calling from National Grid. We noticed you have an unpaid balance from a previous bill. Let's get you back on track. Visit us forward slash payment assistance or call us back at eight to make a payment or sign up for a deferred payment agreement to prevent possible service disconnection in the future. Again, visit us at ngrid. Compaymentassistance or call us at 804-43-1837. We understand these are financially difficult times for many and we are here to help. If you've already paid this balance or made payment arrangements, thank you. This message is from National Grid, 300 Erie Boulevard, West, Syracuse, New York 13202. Goodbye.

National Grid has a page on its website dedicated to these types of queries and takes them very seriously telling its customers about an "increased volume of reported scam attempts concerning both residential and business customers. When contacted by a person claiming to represent National Grid, we encourage customers to always verify their identity to protect yourself against scams."

How do you know if it's legit or if you're being taken advantage of?

National Grid makes it relatively easy to spot the difference, and you should automatically suspect that its a scam if:

  • You are threatened with immediate service termination (this is NOT our procedure).
  • The caller seeks payment when your account is current.
  • The caller demands immediate payment by wire transfer or prepaid card (we don’t accept payment through these cards).
  • The caller is someone you cannot identify.
  • The caller can’t provide the last five digits of your National Grid account number when asked. A National Grid representative will know it.

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