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Thursday, January 8, 2015

National Grid Notice

January 8, 2015 CONTACT: David Graves – 401-784-7540

During this holiday season National Grid and local police departments received an increasing
number of calls from customers being targeted by billing scam artists and impersonators trying to gain
access to account information and entry to National Grid customers’ homes. The bill scams mirror
reports received by utility companies throughout the country where the scammers are demanding
immediate payment for electricity and natural gas bill balances and threatening immediate service shutoff
if payments are not received within an hour or two. If the customer has made a payment, the caller
will say that the payment has not been received and an immediate payment must be made. For the
most part the scammers are demanding that the customer secure a pre-paid debit card and provide the
account number to the scammer who then redeems the card.
National Grid does contact customers with past due balances by phone to offer payment
options. Direct payment is an option but direct payment is never demanded as a prerequisite for
continued service. 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. National Grid does not accept pre-paid debit
cards for payment and would never ask a customer to acquire one of these cards to make a bill
The callers have shown to be adept at extracting account information from unsuspecting
customers and they use sophisticated telephone technology to convince customers they are actually
calling from National Grid.
Ask Questions/Demand Proper ID
In addition to the on-going fraudulent bill collection calls, there have been recurring reports of
individuals going door-to-door, identifying themselves as employees of National Grid and demanding to
see the customer’s electricity or natural gas bills. In other instances, people claiming to be a utility
company employee have been able to gain entry to a home by telling the customer they must inspect
their meter, which is usually located in the customer’s basement. When the customer accompanies the
impersonator into the basement, an accomplice enters the home and removes items of value without
the customer knowing it.
 News Release
Reports of Home Invasions, Billing Scams and Employee Impersonators Increased
During The Holiday SeasonIn all instances when customers come in contact with any individual claiming to represent
National Grid, they should verify their identity before divulging account information, making a bill
payment or allowing access to their home. If a customer has any concerns about the nature of the
contact they should call National Grid’s Customer Contact Center immediately to clarify billing issues
and confirm the identity of the person trying to secure account information or gain entry to the home.
In New England, customers can reach the Center at 1-800-322-3223.