Due to Recent Incidents of Imposters and Scammers National Grid Reminds New York Customers to be on Alert

Due to Recent Incidents of Imposters and Scammers National Grid Reminds New
York Customers to be on Alert

Check for Identification Before Allowing Anyone Into Your Home; Report
Suspicious Activity to the Police or Call National Grid

HICKSVILLE, N.Y., Aug. 20, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via PRWEB - Imposters and
scammers are posing as utility employees and robbing customers on Long Island
and in Queens at their doors and over the phone. National Grid has put its
employees and contractors on heightened alert and reminds customers to do the
same to ensure safety and security.

Every National Grid employee carries a photo ID card, and any contractor doing
work for the company is also required to carry a National Grid ID. If someone
requesting entry into your home or place of business does not show an ID card,
don't let them in and call National Grid at 1-800-930-5003 for Nassau, Suffolk
County and the Rockaway Peninsula or 718-643-4050 for Brooklyn, Staten Island
and parts of Queens. If customers feel there is an immediate danger, they
should call 911.

National Grid has implemented a successful pilot program in several towns and
neighborhoods contacting customers before a meter reader comes to their home.
National Grid has worked with Senator Schumer on getting the word out.
However, National Grid's long term solution to customer privacy and security
lies in the roll-out of its Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) program. This
program would allow for monthly meter readings to be collected by driving by a
customer's home without accessing the property.

"We want our customers to be safe and secure when they require service from
National Grid and are reminding our employees and contractors of our strict
security protocols," said Ken Daly, President, National Grid New York. "It is
unfortunate that scammers are targeting utility customers; we remind customers
to always check for identification before allowing anyone into their homes."

National Grid employees and contractors have visible photo identification
badges with the company logo and wear uniforms with the company name and logo
when conducting routine or emergency services for residences and businesses.
They also travel in clearly marked National Grid vehicles.

The company has the following operating procedures currently in place for our
service technicians and meter readers should they require access to customers'
homes:

  *An approximate date of the forthcoming meter reading is included in the
    bill.
  *Meter readings occur between a four day consecutive billing window, and a
    National Grid representative can arrive during business hours on one of
    those days.
  *Meter readers, while company contractors, also carry company
    identification, and their uniforms, hats and vehicles are co-branded.
  *Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) technology is currently being installed
    throughout Long Island over the next 18 months. This $50M investment will
    enhance customer service and security by eliminating about 3.5 million
    visits to homes a year to manually read gas meters. National Grid already
    has AMR installed in many parts of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.
  *For scheduled appointments, service technicians will call customers in
    advance.
  *When investigating a leak or some other issue of concern, the service
    technician may be led to a home or business that did not report it, but
    will always be traveling in clearly marked National Grid vehicles, and
    wearing hats and vests with the company's logo.

Recently, there also have been telephone-based scams by people identifying
themselves as utility company employees demanding immediate payment for bill
balances. The fraudulent callers threaten customers with immediate service
shut-off unless they provide payment, credit card or bank account information
that can be used to access the accounts.

National Grid does contact customers with past due balances by phone to offer
payment options and to remind them that service shutoff is a possibility if
they fail to pay their past due balance. If customers wish, they can arrange
for a payment by check, credit card, or debit card if they speak directly to a
customer service representative. Payment can also be made by credit card or
debit card without a representative's assistance.

Customers should verify they are speaking with a National Grid representative.
Customers should have the last five digits of their National Grid account
number and ask the caller to provide those numbers. If the caller can't
provide the information; or the customer has any doubt the caller is a
National Grid representative, they should hang up immediately and call the
customer contact center.

National Grid urges customers to be cautious when speaking with callers. Never
arrange payment or divulge account, personal or financial information over the
telephone, unless you are certain that you are speaking with an authorized
National Grid representative.

"We are committed to doing all that we can to help keep our customers safe,"
Daly added. "We work closely with local law enforcement on these issues;
provide fraud alert information on our website, through social media and in
our customer bills. In addition, we encourage families to check on elderly
relatives and friends who are often targets of such schemes, to make sure they
have not fallen victim to this fraud."

For natural gas safety tips: https://www1.nationalgridus.com/NaturalGasSafety

About National Grid

National Grid (LSE:NG) (NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that
connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at
the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society - to create
new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and develop an energy system
that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a
vital position at the center of the energy system and it 'joins everything
up'.

In the northeast U.S., we connect more than seven million gas and electric
customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In
Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is
built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.

National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in
Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of
natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers
in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

For more information please visit our website: http://www.nationalgridus.com.

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This article was originally distributed on PRWeb. For the original version
including any supplementary images or video, visit
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08/prweb12102290.htm

CONTACT: National Grid
         Media Relations
         nationalgridmediarelations@nationalgrid.com
         +1 516-545-5052
 
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