Counties Manukau Police have warned people with elderly family members to be vigilant after a roofing scammer targeted 18 people, leaving a number of them thousands of dollars out of pocket.
Helen 83, and Sheila, 88, were scammed out of thousands after being approached by a man posing as a roofer.
The man spoke to both women saying he noticed damage to their roofs and claimed work needed to be done.
Helen said she has been left $4500 out of pocket after paying money upfront to the man for repairs, someone she said came across as honest and genuine.
"A guy said he'd been working in the area and saw my roof flapping in the wind. We came around the back and he had a quick look. He said he could fix it for $3000. [I had to pay] $2000 upfront and $1000 when it was finished.
"The next thing I heard was him he was coming back to have a proper look. He said I needed some roofing iron and would cost $2500. He came across as genuine. I believed him.
"I gave him the money and I never heard from him again."
In another incident, the man convinced 88-year-old Sheila a number of tiles on her roof were loose and some of them were broken.
When Sheila's sister left, the man convinced her to fork out $1500 upfront for repairs.
After handing it over, he was never seen again.
"He got his ladder came up on the roof and showed us some of the apex tiles were loose and some of them had broken corners.
"When I came back he talked my sister into writing him a cheque for $1500. He was very charming.
"Once she had written the cheque none of us saw him again."
Police say a man has been charged.
Police have stressed to people to never pay up front, and to only pay once the work has been completed.
"Never enter an agreement for work to be done without first talking it through with a family member. If in doubt, seek help."
While Helen isn't expecting to ever see her money again, she's pleaded with others to see a second opinion and never hand over money upfront.
"If anyone comes to your door wanting money for a service, get someone else's opinion. Because you don't know what you don't know."