BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — National Grid is warning customers about scammers who are pretending to be utility workers.
They say customers are getting calls from people who claim to be from National Grid, and are being told they have a balance that is past due.
Customers are warned that service will be shut off unless they buy a prepaid debit card, or use Western Union.
A company spokesman says the scammers are getting better at duplicating National Grid’s recorded messages, so it can be tougher to tell the difference between a real call and a fake.
National Grid spokesman Steve Brady says “This seems to really have popped up just before a holiday weekend, and because they’re calling all customers, including commercial customers, there might be a fear a customer has — ‘Geez, if I run a restaurant or something like that, I don’t want it to be shut down over a holiday weekend.’ So, they might be more inclined to do something they otherwise wouldn’t do.”
Brady said that one way to verify if a caller works for National Grid is to have them read back the last five digits of your account number.
“If they can’t do it, they don’t work for National Grid,” Brady says.
National Grid says it is unlikely they will call someone over a holiday weekend unless it’s an emergency. The Erie County Water Authority and Buffalo Police Department are also warning people about scammers who are pretending to be with their agencies.