THE furious owner of a vacuum cleaner shop has warned customers to be vigilant after reports that conmen have been posing as employees to get into elderly people's homes.
Dial A Vac has received several complaints over the last few weeks from older customers and their relatives who have had phone calls and visits from a man claiming to be from the firm.
But the Girlington company does not do house calls to repair items and wants to alert people to be wary.
In the first incident, a motor of a vacuum cleaner was fixed with the Clayton-based owner charged £60 - but the motor of the machine later blew up.
On the second occasion, a man phoned an elderly resident in Allerton saying the warranty on her 30-year-old vacuum cleaner had expired.
He said he would need the woman's bank details to set a monthly Direct Debit for a new warranty and also her key code to get into her property. But he never turned up at the address at the agreed time.
In the third incident, someone fixed an oven, posing as a worker from the company, saying they were now branching out. The owner alerted Dial A Vac staff when he came into the shop looking to buy a Henry hoover.
Owner of Dial A Vac, in Thornton Road, Stephen Smith said: "I'm upset about it. It's worrying. They are using us as a way of getting into people's homes.
"I'm warning people to be on guard. All I can do is put something on our shop window and say it's not us.
"I'm thinking of making us a registered company to make sure anyone else can't copy us.
"It's just a con job really. We only have equipment in the shop to do repairs. We don't do outside repairs."
Manager Katie Smith said: "I am annoyed that they are using our name to get into people's houses.
"My dad has spent a lot of years building this business up. What we don't want is for our reputation to be ruined. Warning our customers to be vigilant.
"It's just sad that it's going on."
Dave Lodge, the head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards Agency, said: "We have received a complaint and are looking into it. It has been allocated to an officer."
The company has also made police aware of the incidents.