WALTHAM — National Grid is once again warning customers to beware of the latest ongoing episode of utility billing scams.
As has been the case several times in the past few years, National Grid’s Customer Contact Center has received calls from residential and business customers saying they have been 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. These scammers warn that service will be shut off immediately, unless the customer purchases a pre-paid debit card in a specific amount and provides the caller with the card’s account number. Similar scams have operated throughout the country periodically.
Callers have become increasingly sophisticated in replicating National Grid’s recorded messaging and directions for phone prompts making it more difficult to differentiate an actual call from National Grid from a scammer’s call.
National Grid does contact customers with past due balances by phone to offer payment options, but never demands direct payment through the use of a pre-paid debit card and never accepts payment through these cards. 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 told to purchase a pre-paid debit card or provide other sensitive financial information should hang up and contact National Grid immediately. To verify account information and for any billing-related questions, Massachusetts electricity customers should call National Grid’s Customer Contact Center at 800-322-3223. For Massachusetts natural gas customers the number to call is 800-233-5325.