Northern Powergrid, the company responsible for the network that delivers electricity to 8 million customers in the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, is reminding customers that its employees would never call and ask anyone over the telephone to provide their personal banking and password details or their electricity Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN).
The reassurance comes following a customer contacting the electricity distributor recently to alert it to receiving a bogus call from someone claiming to be from Northern Powergrid. The customer was asked repeatedly to provide their MPAN number and was threatened that their electricity supply would be disconnected if they failed to provide the information.
Northern Powergrid reassured the Yorkshire-based customer, who didn’t divulge anything and had the presence of mind to capture the caller’s details, that the company was not behind the call and it would never make calls of this type to any of its customers. It also advised the customer – and is encouraging any others who might receive a similar call - to report it to the National Fraud Investigation Service by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk
Lynne Papadimitriou, Northern Powergrid’s customer care operations manager, said: “We’re very grateful for our customer drawing this to our attention. It may be just one call, but we will not tolerate behaviour which seeks to fraudulently extract information from our customers and inappropriately uses our company name.
“We would urge anyone who receives a call of this type to take down as much detail as they can – including any visible number - and then report it via actionfraud.police.uk as soon as possible.
"We continue to be available 24/7 for our customers on social media or by calling 105 if they need any support in relation to our power network, which delivers electricity to 3.9 million homes and businesses across the region.”
A Meter Point Administration Number, also known as MPAN, is a 21-digit reference used in Great Britain to uniquely identify electricity supply points. Northern Powergrid rarely needs a customer to confirm their MPAN number as it already holds this information.
The electricity distributor also does not bill customers directly. Any network-related charges, which equate to around 23p a day, form part of the energy bill customers receive directly from their chosen electricity supplier. Any costs associated with a customer request for a new connection or changes to service cables which link their property to Northern Powergrid’s network would be paid for using recognised payment methods and would not require any disclosure of personal bank account details or passwords.