National Grid is warning Utica, Rome, Syracuse, and the rest of Central New York of a new COVID19 phone scam.

National Grid is alerting Central New York customers about a recent phone scam going through our area. They report that imposters are promising refunds or discounts to current National Grid customers. Here’s how scammers are trying to prey on customers:

-Customers may notice their caller ID displays an incoming call is from a phone number in a nearby town or even the neighborhood where they live.
-When customers answer the phone, a recorded message explains that due to being overbilled, they are owed refunds or discounts on their utility bills.
-The customer is instructed to press ‘1’ to learn more about the refund or discount.
-The customer is transferred to a live person, who explains that the customer is eligible for a refund or discount.
-The caller then begins probing for personal information, which may include a ZIP code and the utility bill account number."

National Grid has provided man warning signs to detect this recent scam. You can read these online on their website. The company said scammers have become increasingly "sophisticated" in replicating recorded messaging and directions for phone prompts. This causes confusion with customers.

Customers who have fallen victim to the scam should immediately contact National Grid. You can contact them by using the toll-free telephone numbers listed on billing statements.

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COVID-19 Consumer Scams

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our day to day life, the FCC is also reporting on text-message scams and robocalls that prey on virus-related fears.

-Robocall scams have focused on health and financial concerns connected to COVID-19. Learn more and listen to actual scam audio.
-Coronavirus scammers are targeting older Americans. Get information to share with seniors and their families."

If you think you've been a victim of a coronavirus scam, contact law enforcement immediately.