By Ken MacLeod

GARDNER (CBS) – Scammers are trying to take homeowners to the cleaners in Central Massachusetts. The business is legit, but the information is not.

Gardner Police say several people have received fake flyers for a carpet cleaning. One woman told WBZ she had the potential thieves in her living room.

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“I’m frightened now, I’m really scared,” said Irene Hales.

Irene Hales thought she was calling Dave’s Carpet Cleaning when she responded to the yellow flyer in her mailbox pitching a $69 special. But when a man and woman showed up at her Gardner home for that appointment Monday in a brown, unmarked sedan with no equipment, she smelled a rat.

“And I saw him kind of looking around and I said, this is it, you’re not from Dave’s, I said ‘out,’” Irene said.

The 83-year-old quickly looked up Dave’s number the old-fashioned way and learned something very interesting.

“It wasn’t them, they had no knowledge of it at all,” she said.

Indeed the real Dave has been swamped with complaints about flyers and even phone calls apparently the work of scammers using his name and logo, but a different number.

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“If you get these flyers you need to contact the police department immediately,” said Gardner Police Sgt. James Trifiro.

Trouble is, police don’t yet have a copy of the flyer itself. After Irene plucked it from her mailbox, she called the number, made an appointment and threw it away.

But police are confident warning folks that the scammers’ real plan is to distract the homeowner and steal things or to scope out the place for a future burglary.

“Who knows what they could have done if I had let it progress,” Irene said.

Police describe the suspects as Hispanic in their late 30’s and likely still working the area.

“I don’t know who to trust anymore,” Irene said.

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The encounter certainly rattled Irene, but she did wind up getting her carpets cleaned, by the real Dave.

Ken MacLeod