UI, SCG, and CNG Encourage Customers to Stay Alert on Utility Scams

Customers urged to learn warning signs of fraudulent communications, call to verify suspicious communications

ORANGE, Conn. — March 26, 2024 — United Illuminating (UI), Southern Connecticut Gas (SCG), and Connecticut Natural Gas (CNG), subsidiaries of Avangrid (NYSE: AGR), are reminding customers to stay vigilant of scammers posing as company representatives. The companies have recently been notified of customers receiving calls, emails, and letters from scammers claiming to be employees or consultants while requesting fraudulent charges. Customer service representatives are working to educate customers about the tactics used by scammers and empower them to protect themselves.

“These incidents remind us that criminals are working more creatively to steal personal information and money from our utility customers,” said Frank Reynolds, President & CEO of UI, SCG, and CNG. “We urge our customers to remain vigilant in protecting themselves from scammers claiming to be associated with our companies. If you have a question about the authenticity of a phone call, letter, or email claiming to be from our team, I urge you to contact us. Our customer service team is always available and willing to assist you in answering any billing questions. I look forward to working with our customers and Customer Service team to prevent these fraudulent scams throughout our companies’ service territories.”

As all Connecticut utility companies approach the end of the moratorium on utility disconnections for hardship customers and customers with certain medical protections beginning May 2, customers should be particularly vigilant for these scams and verify suspicious collections-related notices by phone, email, or letter. Particularly before making payments over the phone, customers should verify all information and recognize the following red flags:


  • It doesn’t add up: UI, SCG, and CNG don’t call customers for payment if the account is in good standing. 
  • Timing and urgency: If a customer falls behind on payments, customers will receive multiple notifications and will have an opportunity to pay or enter a payment arrangement before disconnection. Avangrid’s companies do not disconnect service on Fridays, weekends, state holidays, or any time the Customer Care Center is closed.
  • Demanding a specific form of payment: Avangrid companies accept a variety of payment types, including credit cards, check, and more. These options can be found on the company’s website. If a caller insists on payment via a prepaid debit card — especially a specific brand of prepaid card — it is a scam.

Types of scams that customers should look out for include:

  • Disconnection threat: Someone posing as a utility representative aggressively tells the customer their account is past due and a crew is on the way to shut off service unless an immediate payment is made — typically using a prepaid debit card or another non-refundable form of payment.
  • Meter payment: The caller or in-person scammer instructs the customer to pay with cash or a prepaid debit card, or to provide bank account information over the phone, to cover the costs of a new meter or meter upgrade.
  • Information request: The caller insists that a recent payment encountered a system glitch and was not completed, or that the company had not received the payment at all, after which the perpetrator asks the customer to make a payment using a prepaid debit card or by providing personal bank account information over the phone.

Simple steps customers can take to protect themselves include:

  • Check account status: Creating an online profile at the company’s website is a quick way to check account status: customers can sign up for My Account and opt to receive an eBill and enroll in AutoPay, if desired. Customers can also call the company’s Customer Care Center at the number found on the bill or the company’s website. (Do not use callback numbers provided by unsolicited callers.) Representatives can verify account status and work with customers to resolve any issues.
  • Check ID: Employees of all Avangrid companies carry company-issued IDs. Ask for ID from any in-person visitor. If the person idenitifes him-/herself as a contract, call the utility company to verify their identity and nature of their business. Use the number on the company’s bill or website. Our employees and contractors are happy to comply with an identity verification request.
  • Protect personal information: Customers should never share personal or financial information, including outstanding balances, without first verifying whom they’re speaking with.
  • Collect evidence: Customers that suspect a scam are urged to get the name and number from caller ID, if available, write down any call-back number provided, and take notes on what the caller said. This will help investigators work with authorities to shut down the scam.
  • Be on alert for unexpected emails: Be diligent to check the authenticity of emails from Avangrid companies, especially if you’re not an eBill customer, and think twice before clicking links. If you’re not certain, you can make credit card payments, check balances and find other information directly on the company’s website.

Customers who suspect that they have been victims of fraud or who feel threatened during contact with a scammer should notify the company, local law enforcement authorities, and the Federal Trade Commission (http://www.ftc.gov/). This will help authorities shut down scams and prosecute the scammers. 

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