PROVIDENCE — The Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office, in partnership with National Grid, are warning electric and gas customers to be vigilant of potential scammers posing as bill collectors trying to take advantage of them.
Over the past several weeks, Attorney General Peter F. Neronha said there has been an increased volume of reported scam attempts targeting residential and business customers by phone. In a press release, he said scammers are using a variety of methods these days to prey on their victims including phone calls, texts, email solicitation or in-person visits.
"Many scams now include the ability to use a false caller ID, which identifies the number they are calling from as National Grid," the release said. "The imposter then informs the customers they have a past due balance on their utility bill requiring immediate payment."
Similar scams of trying to rush payments have been reported by utility customers across the U.S.
National Grid urges customers to remain vigilant and to always contact National Grid using the toll-free telephone numbers listed on the billing statement. If you receive a call, hang up and call the number directly. For suspected door-to-door scams, customers should seek an official photo ID card before allowing anyone in their home.
Customers who have received suspicious calls can call National Grid’s Customer Contact Center to answer any billing questions at 800-322-3223. To report the scam to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit, call 401-274-4400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Jason Vallee