A 82-year-old woman thinks the trio of dishonest tourists scared her out of nearly $ 9,000, claiming they would repair the roof but leave a hole in her ceiling.
Director Greenlane Heidrun Leonard said the traders knocked on her door on January 4 when they said they had noticed that there was a leak on the roof that needed repair.
The man-who was with two other men-told Leonard not only to fix the tiles on the roof but also to install two dehumidifiers inside his house.
But they needed money in advance.
"You have to give us 8800 dollars, and once we do that, you will get $ 8800 back," Leonard said, telling him the men.
She wrote a check that she then collected at the bank.
The following morning they returned to their house and cut the rectangular hole in the ceiling before they ran away when Leonard's neighbor came and began to ask questions.
Leonard told Newshub that she recognized one of three people from the crazy British tourist group when she saw the photos.
The group caught the attention of global media after a seemingly harmless incident on Takapuna Beach exploded into the story of North Island about theft, unpaid bills and general harassment.
Leonard said he filed a complaint with the police.
The neighbor – who did not want to be named – said the 82-year-old was a perfect target for fraudsters because he was "very confident."
"If anyone tells her story, she believes in the good of their heart," he said.
He said that Leonard – whose children lived overseas – was not rich and could not afford to lose money.
"She's 82, and what seems like a fairly large amount for a younger person is breaking her," he said.
It seems that even the three men have sided.
The nearby Leonard's neighbors, Des Carville and Fale Opapo, said the men also knocked on their doors.
Roly Swann, a spokeswoman for Solar Chemical, said he heard numerous stories about fraudsters and called them "the perpetrator" of his industry.
He said he was contacted by another elderly woman's family in December, who had advice after being driven out of more than $ 10,000 by two boys with a British accent.
He advised the invited foreigners to always ask for identification and proof of the worker's qualifications or business, and also in case of doubt contact the NZ Roofing Association.
Leonard's neighbor said that the men who cheated with their elder neighbor were convinced, arrogant and agile.
For the first time on January 4, Leonard's house noticed a problem when he saw tiles on the roof.
After the men left, he went to talk to Leonard and found out that he had given them the money.
He said that the false merchants were so successful when they cheated Leonard because they could play the faith she had that she had not.
The neighbor then phoned the police, who told him to immediately call back if the men returned.
When the traders returned the next day, they began to cut a hole in Leonard's ceiling until her neighbor noticed and did not come to check what was going on.
When asked for identification or business card, the two men who were there said they were in their car. But instead of returning with identification, they fled.
Leonard's neighbor suspected that men had come back the next day to try to cheat more money.
Police arrived shortly after saying that they were tracking a car at a motel, but they had not started.