Columbia Gas warns homeowners of scam amid restoration efforts

Columbia Gas warns homeowners of scam amid restoration efforts

BOSTON — Residents in the Merrimack Valley are not only dealing with the aftermath of the explosions but also have to be on high alert after scammers posted fake notes posing as Columbia Gas crews.

As gas restoration efforts continue in the Merrimack Valley, Columbia Gas alerted residents this weekend of what a "Sorry we missed you" sign from them would look like in case they knocked on doors of empty homes.

Fake notes claiming to be from the gas company have been seen posted on several doors, telling homeowners that the gas company was in the area conducting equipment verification.

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The note goes on to tell the homeowner they left an entry permit and statement of work limitations for them to review. It then asks them to call and reschedule a visit.

Columbia Gas told residents the note did not come from them, showing what their actual notice looks like - it's printed in color, has the Columbia Gas logo on it and looks more professional than just a tiny slip of paper.

Residents are asked not to respond to anything that looks like it might be fake. If you receive a notice, phone call email or aren't sure about a person claiming to be affiliated with the company and would like to double check, give Columbia Gas a call at 1-866-388-32369.

On Sunday, Columbia Gas announced it's 80 percent complete in replacing the gas pipelines involved in the Merrimack Valley explosions.

The utility is about halfway through getting 6,100 homes and businesses in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover back online.

Gas officials have set a Nov. 19 deadline to finish all their work.