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Saratoga Springs salon warns of a National Grid scam

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SARATOGA SPRINGS (WRGB) – The owner of Fusion Salon in Saratoga Springs is warning people about a National Grid scam that she almost fell victim to.

Employee Leanne Miller says she answered a call at the salon Thursday, and the caller ID said National Grid.

“It was a man and it sounded like it was a recording, just notifying us that in about 45 minutes the power was going to be shut down.” Miller said.

Panicked, she called owner Laura Furo at home.

Furo called the number the caller gave. She said it sounded exactly like the National Grid menu she's heard in the past, with all the same menu options.

The man on the line asked for her account number, but she didn’t give it.

“So I gave the guy the salon’s phone number,” Furo said. “Immediately he popped up the address, my name, and who I was - so I'm like, 'Ok, this is getting legit.'”

Furo then got transferred to a woman who said her past two checks haven't cleared. She had the exact total of Furo's bills - over a thousand dollars. Furo said that detail caused concern.

The woman told her she needed to pay the bills right then. One option was to pay with an American Express debit card. Furo said she doesn’t have one, and had never heard of that. The woman said she could pick one up at a Rite Aid or CVS. Furo said that sounded weird, so she asked for another option. The woman said she could go to the National Grid headquarters in Albany and pay by cash or cashier’s check.

“But she said you don't have enough time, it's being shut off in 25 minutes, it's going to take you longer to get there.” Furo said.

At that point, Furo was feeling skeptical, so she hung up, found a National Grid bill, and called that number instead. They told Furo her balance was zero. That’s when she knew it was all a scam.

National Grid told Furo they've gotten multiple reports of similar scams. Furo said she wants to spread the word to make sure no one falls for it.

“If I was even half believing it, and I believe nothing, that's scary!” Furo said.

As for the scammers, CBS6 tried to call them back, and they seem to still be in business. But as of Friday morning, the recording said “Indianapolis Power and Light Company” instead of National Grid.

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National Grid says they will never call people and say they're turning off your power. They will send notices. They said if you get a strange call, never give out your account number, hang up, and call the number listed on your bill to confirm.

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