National Grid warns of growing phone scam

By: Chelsea Priest

A simple phone call is costing some National Grid customers hundreds and even thousands of dollars. It's money the customers think is going towards their overdue electrical bill, but in reality, it's money down the drain.

Two weeks ago, calls started coming in to the Attorney Generals office about aggressive bill collectors claiming they are from National Grid and demanding money, if you don't pay, your electricity will be cut of immediately.

Timothy Horan, President of National Grid Rhode Island says, “When we do have any issues with customers and their bills, we call to set up payment plans and we work with them. It's not in this aggressive manner and we aren't demanding bank account information.”

With more and more people coming forward and complaining, and word that the scam is spreading to other states, the Attorney General and National Grid are sending out another warning.

Attorney General, Peter Kilmartin says, “It's continuing, it's expanding and we felt that it was necessary to reach out more directly to the public to let them know to beware of this scam, it's aggressive.”

The scammers are not only targeting individual homes, they are also targeting local businesses.

Kilmartin goes on, “If they are demanding credit card information, which is the case here, say no, hang up immediately because they are trying to keep you on the line, they are trying to engage you.”

National Grid says this type of aggressive bill collecting is not how they do business. If you do receive a call demanding money, hang up and call the National Grid Customer Contact Center at 1-800-322-3223.

(C) WLNE-TV 2013