National Grid Warns of Phony Bill-paying Scam

National Grid linemen, Bryan Bruce, left, and Michael Burek prepare to replace a utilty pole in a swamp area damaged by Tropical Storm Irene on Knox Cave road in the Town of Knox N.Y., Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

National Grid is warning Long Island customers of a phony nationwide utility scam that falsely claims the federal government will pay utility bills through a new program.

The company said no such program exists and anyone solicited to participate should notify local law enforcement about the incident.

Solicitors are reaching out to customers through phone calls, door-to-door visits and on the Internet, the company said. Customers are being asked to provide the solicitors with their Social Security number and bank routing numbers and are then given fake account numbers to use to pay their bills.

“These are fraudulent account numbers and are not accepted by National Grid to pay customer bills,” the company said in news release.

All National Grid employees are required to carry and provide company photo identification upon request. Most National Grid employees will also travel in registered National Grid vehicles when conducting business with its customers.

All customers should ask to see a company ID badge and be sure the badge affiliates the person with National Grid. When in doubt, any customer can call the National Grid customer service number to confirm the employee’s affiliation with the company.

Long Island customers should call National Grid at 1-800-930-5003 in the case of any situation.

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