Local businesswoman says she lost over $2K in National Grid scam

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A local businesswoman said she fell victim to a scam, and she wants to warn others.

Kat Philo uses electricity every day at her salon Blended Hair Studio. But on Wednesday, she almost lost it after getting a call from someone claiming to be from National Grid.

“They were gonna shut me down within the half hour unless I came up with all this money,” she said.

For months, she was paying her electric bills through her landlord.

“I was thinking I haven’t been paying them directly, so maybe they thought I have missed months,” she said.

Philo did what the caller asked and paid with a  prepaid money order called a MoneyPak. But they continued to ask for more. By the third call, Philo realized something was up.

“I was sobbing on the phone,” Philo said. “I’m, like, you know what? I know that a business would never operate like this.”

She said she was scammed out of nearly $2,500. National Grid confirmed to her they’ve received all her checks.

So how did she fall victim? Philo said it all sounded legitimate.

“Everything was prompted the same way,” she said. “It wasn’t just one person on the phone saying this is National Grid.”

She felt pressured that her business was at risk.

“You have people’s livelihoods in your hand, so when that happens, you’ll do anything,” she said.

Philo said she learned her lesson, and she hopes others will, too.

“There are criminals out there, and they’re going to do anything they can to get your money,” she said.

NEWS10 ABC called the number that reached out to Philo to try to get a comment.

“**** you,” the person responded.

National Grid said the scam has been going on for a few years. If you’ve fallen victim, you’re urged to contact National Grid and report it to your local law enforcement and the attorney general’s office.

In addition, National Grid said representatives will know your account number, so ask them to confirm the last five digits. They will also never require a specific payment method or demand immediate payment by wire transfer or a prepaid card service.

Every National Grid employee or contractor also caries photo ID.

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