A 79-year-old was conned of nearly $20,000 to fraudsters linked to the unruly tourists, and his granddaughter Aimee Hutchinson has set up a Givealittle page to help him get back his life savings.

Last December the Auckland grandfather answered a knock on his front door and was offered cleaning work by two men.

He did not know he was dealing with fraudsters Johnny and Patrick Quinn, the brothers linked to the British "unruly tourists" who arrived a month earlier from Vancouver.

Johnny Quinn in the Whanganui Court on charges to the roofing scams in Auckland. Photo / Stuart Munro
Johnny Quinn in the Whanganui Court on charges to the roofing scams in Auckland. Photo / Stuart Munro

Hutchinson said a man who called himself Tim offered to clean the roof and outside, and although her grandfather declined their initial offer, they returned twice with offers of cheaper quotes.


"My poppa was stressed and upset as he was about to travel to Tauranga for a close friend's funeral," she said on Givealittle.

"To try and get them off his back, he accepted the third quote and then proceeded to withdraw $1100 cash from the ATM."

The next day, the two men started water blasting the house and a third inspected the roof and chimney.

They then told the elderly man the roof needed immediate repairing and required a $2500 for an expert to assess the damage.

"They began to demand further cash and the price of repairs climbed higher and higher, in total $18,800 was handed over and the three men were never seen again," Hutchinson said.

She said the money that had been scammed was most of her grandfather's life savings.

"This was a huge blow for him as he lives alone and receives a small weekly pension," Hutchinson said.

She said her grandad did not want to be named because he felt "embarrassed, deflated and foolish".


The Quinn brothers, who had been charged with obtaining money by deception, were sentenced to six months' imprisonment for their crimes and deported last month.

The court heard they had defrauded people across Auckland of $32,550 through the chimney scam. The brothers only repaid $15,000 in reparation with money wired from an account in England.

Hutchinson said it was heartbreaking for the family to see the sparkle in her grandfather's eyes was now gone.