Police have sent out a warning over telephone tricksters cleaning unsuspecting Sunderland residents out of cash by offering bogus vacuum cleaner repairs.
In the past few days, police have received two reports that victims have been contacted by a well known vacuum cleaner brand offering to repair their vacuum.
In both instances the victims have arranged for what they believe to be a workman to come round and repair the vacuum - and have paid for the service only for the repairs not to be carried out.
Officers are investigating the offences, both received by people in Houghton, as possible fraud.
Houghton Neighbourhood Inspector Les Goodliff said: "It's really important that people do not let these bogus callers con them into paying money for a service they do not receive.
"If anyone receives a similar call they should hang up.
"To check whether or not the call is genuine our advice is ring the company the caller claims to be from - however, always bear in mind often these bogus callers will keep the phoneline open so instead of ringing the company the call goes back to bogus caller.
"To stop this, ring a relative or friend, someone's whose voice you recognise well, before you ring the company to check the line is clear.
"If anyone is any doubt whatsoever they should ring police on 101."
To report an incident to police ring 101. In an emergency always ring 999.