Mayor warns of utility worker imposters

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East Hills Mayor Michael Koblenz is warning residents to be cautious when responding to door-to-door utility workers after someone posing as a National Grid employee tried to enter a home.

Koblenz said in a village newsletter that a resident answered her door for a man who identified himself as a National Grid worker responding to a gas leak. 

He asked to enter the home to check the meter, but the homeowner declined, and shut the door after telling him the meter was outside.

The homeowner called the police, and  National Grid was able to confirm he was not an employee, Koblenz said.

To prevent residents from inviting unauthorized individuals into their homes, the gas provider shared information about correct company protocol.

National Grid employees wear company-issued uniforms, carry photo ID badges and travel in clearly marked company vehicles, according to the list. If a technician refuses to present identification, they shouldn’t be let in.

Scheduled meter readings should be listed on the monthly bill so customers know when to expect a visit.

During emergency calls technicians may inspect home meters even if it wasn’t reported by the homeowner. The company logo on the uniform and vehicle should alert them it is a National Grid employee.

The company also warned customers of fraudulent callers threatening to cut off service immediately if they don’t receive payment.

When speaking with National Grid phone representatives, customers should ask them to repeat the last five digits of their account number. If there is any refusal or inability to produce the numbers, customers should end the call and contact the customer service line.

Company representatives will sometimes contact customers with outstanding payments by phone to discuss payment options, but personal or financial information should only be given out to  authorized  employees.

Koblenz asked that residents contact East Hills Public Safety after contacting the police about any incidents.

by Chris Adams

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