SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

April 28, 2014

Marblehead police short circuit electric company scam

MARBLEHEAD — If National Grid says you owe them and you better send the money now or lose heat and power — well, it ain’t necessarily so.

An Atlantic Avenue man got just such a call demanding thousands of dollars which he reported to police over the weekend. But they responded with a message from the utility company “reminding its customers of a nationwide utility scam.” It involves people claiming to work for National Grid who demand money through a pre-paid card.

They also “threaten customers that they may have a faulty meter that is dangerous and in need of replacing for a substantial fee.” That’s a giveaway, because the meters belong to National Grid and customers are not expected to pay when they need replacing.

“National Grid does contact customers with past due balances by phone to offer payment options,” according to the company’s document, “but never demands direct payment over the telephone.” People with questions should call National Grid at 1-800-322-3223.

This scam is especially lame in Marblehead. When the caller expressed concern that National Grid would cancel his service, an officer pointed out “that was fine. Marblehead does not use National Grid Electric as we have our own (municipal) electric company.”

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