Door-to-Door Solar Scam Targeting CNY Homeowners – WIBX AM 950

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If a stranger knocks on your door and claims they’re signing people up for solar, chances are they’re trying to scam you.

A few years ago, a stranger showed up at my apartment and claimed to be from National Grid. They wanted me to let them inside so we could talk energy options and ways to reduce my utility bill.

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Considering I was renting and installing solar panels was outright banned per my rental agreement, I turned them away and, boy, did they need a lot of convincing. It was deeply uncomfortable because my gut was screaming at me that something wasn’t right about this “salesperson”.

After they left, I called National Grid about the interaction and was told that person was, indeed, a scammer.

MCCAIG from Getty Images Signature

MCCAIG from Getty Images Signature


I am sharing this story because residents in Oneida are currently being targeted by a possible solar scammer. Group members of the Oneida for Change Facebook page began warning others about a recent interaction with a gentleman claiming to be from National Grid.

The individual is allegedly asking residents why they haven’t signed up for solar.

“National Grid never engages in door-to-door solicitation,” the company said in a statement. National Grid said scam artists pose as representatives of the company in hopes of stealing your personal information.

The energy company said you should never provide your account number or copy of your utility bill to those who approach you with an offer to switch to solar or reduce your rates. National Grid also warns against signing any documents.

sturti from Getty Images Signature

sturti from Getty Images Signature


Instead, they say you should ask to see the person’s ID to verify their name and employment. The company says you can close the door and contact them at 800-642-4272 to inquire about the individual. If the person is legitimate, they shouldn’t be bothered that you’re being extra cautious – because they’re probably used to it.

A red flag, as with this recent situation in Oneida, is the alleged salesperson was not in uniform. National Grid says employees have to “wear visible photo identification cards with a visible logo.” The possible solar scammer was said to be wearing a puffer jacket and a Lakers hat.

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National Grid says if you ever feel like you’re in danger, close and lock your door, stay inside, and call 911 immediately.  Additionally, residents are also encouraged to contact police if they believe a scammer is prowling their neighborhood. Authorities will tell the person to leave if they are believed to be causing trouble.

If you happen to fall for one of these scams, National Grid encourages you to “call your local law enforcements officials and the Attorney General’s office immediately.”

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Mario Tama/Getty Images


PPM Solar recently came out with a lengthy article about identifying possible door-to-door scammers and how they manipulate people. PPM said common targets include elderly and retired folks as well as those who would be interested in saving money or rebates.

If you are interested in solar, it is best to do your research to identify a legitimate company and work with them directly. It is also advised to get multiple quotes so you can settle on the best offer and option.

Stay safe and watch out for door-to-door scammers, CNY!

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In order to avoid a scammer getting the better of you, check out the following red flags to look out for as well as preventative measures to take from Dr. Skiba, AKA Dr. Fraud himself:

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