BUFFALO — National Grid customers and area law enforcement agencies are reporting utility billing and payment scams statewide.

The company is asking its customers to beware and know the signs of a scam.

Imposters claiming to be from National Grid may tell customers that they have past due balances on their utility bills, even promising a savings on their next bill. Customers who reported the scams are saying they were contacted by telephone and email, and in some cases automated recordings.

The scammers threaten that service will be shut off immediately unless the customer buys a prepaid debit card in a specific amount, such as a Green Dot card, and provides the caller with the card’s account number. In the case of business customers, the scammers may request a Western Union money transfer.

Imposters also may ask for a Social Security number and a National Grid account number.

Such calls are not from National Grid, officials said. They are from scammers ooking to obtain personal information and payments.

The scenario can change, but the goal of the scammer remains the same: scare customers into making hasty decisions that often include large payments.

National Grid does contact customers with past due balances by phone to offer payment options, but never demands direct payment through the use of a prepaid debit card. The company never accepts…

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