I recently received an email from Norwell Police Chief Ted Ross warning South Shore residents about a utility billing scam. Fraudulent callers are targeting National Grid customers throughout New England. The scammers are demanding payment of alleged electric bill balances (that customers may not even owe) and are threatening to shut off their electricity immediately unless given checking account or credit card information.
What should you do if this happens to you? Ask the caller for the last five digits of your National Grid account number. Inevitably, they won’t have it and you can hang up and rest assured the caller is a scammer. DO NOT give out your banking or credit card information. If you want to verify your account billing status, the telephone number for the National Grid Customer Contact Center is 1-800-322-3223.
Criminals can easily obtain false names for caller identification purposes and attempt to pose as legitimate businesses over the phone. So remember, the best practice is to NEVER give out your banking, credit card, or personal information (such as your date of birth or Social Security number) over the telephone unless YOU initiated the call and are certain of the merchant’s identity. Additional resources on scams and identity theft from the Attorney General’s office can be found here.