Syracuse, NY (WIBX) - National Grid is urging customers to protect themselves from a new nationwide utility bill scam.

The energy supplier says customers have been contacted by phone calls, door-to-door and online by people claiming that the government will pay their utility bills through a new program.

Customers are asked to provide their Social Security and bank routing numbers, then are given a fake account number for their bills.

National Grid says customers should always ask to see a company ID badge before giving any information out. In addition, employees of the energy group will usually drive a company vehicle, marked with the National Grid logo.

If customers have any questions, they should call the company at 1-800-642-4272 to confirm the employee's status.