Utica Police said they have received several calls about crooks claiming to be with National Grid and threatening to cut off the power unless you pay.
Police say to complicate matters scammers are able to mask their actual phone number and calling location, so many of these scam phone calls will show up with an area code 315 on your called ID.
Here’s how it works, according to the cops: The con artist mistakenly identifies himself as a representative of National Grid and tells the unsuspecting victim that the power to his house will be cut off within the next 30-45 minutes, unless ‘she didn’t get an immediate message. Payment. Then, attempts are made to secure the bank account or credit card numbers.
Utica Police say National Grid is aware of this and advise you to take the following steps to protect yourself:
- Step 1: Protect yourself. Do not provide any personal information or make immediate payment to someone you cannot identify.
- Step 2: Ask the caller for the last five digits of your National Grid account number. If they can’t, hang up.
- Step 3: Report the suspicious call to National Grid by calling customer service and confirm your account status.
It’s also important to remember that crooks have no ability to control the power supply to your home or business. So whether you pay or not, they can’t turn you off or on.