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Conman is scuppered thanks to POST story

PUBLISHED: 17:36 21 September 2009 | UPDATED: 10:25 11 August 2010

THE BISCUIT tin conman is still at large but thanks to the POST new companies have been put on their guard after reading an exposé we published two months ago. Several businesses from different areas of London and further afield, such as Peterborough, cal

THE BISCUIT tin conman is still at large but thanks to the POST new companies have been put on their guard after reading an exposé we published two months ago.

Several businesses from different areas of London and further afield, such as Peterborough, called the newsdesk last week to say they were contacted by a man claiming to run the South East Advertiser.

The brazen scammer, who goes by the name Mark Dagnell, gets clients to advertise in his fake newspaper and then disappears with their money.

But he is having a difficult time hooking new 'customers' since the POST exposed him on July 15 after he targeted Essex Wrought Iron in Wantz Road, Dagenham.

Their spokeswoman told how Mr Dagnell lulled her into a false sense of security with his trustworthy manner by carrying a biscuit tin under his arm.

She said: "When he walks into a meeting he says 'I've got the biscuits; you get the tea' in a jokey way."

But his banter is a cover for a malicious con say staff at the Dagenham company, who lost more than £2,000 when they placed an advertisement in his 'newspaper'.

Now more businesses have come forward to say they were contacted.

TA Baker, a company that installs satellites and TV aerials based in Peterborough, say a man from the South East Advertiser rang them on Wednesday September 9.

They became suspicious after he kept changing the quotes for advertising space and googled the newspaper - but found the POST'S story instead.

And a musician who spent £500 on adverts for his jazz band says he was ripped off after being fooled by Mr Dagnell's friendly manner.

All the victims paid by cheque and were promised they would receive a copy of the paper with their advertisement in it - but they never do.

Through a service called Company House, where new businesses are registered, Essex Wrought Iron staff discovered the South East Advertiser was dissolved the day before they handed over a £2,070 cheque in May.

They also found out that a Mark Dagnell was the director of 11 other companies which were later dissolved.

Essex Wrought Iron's spokeswoman said: "I want to warn other businesses to be careful.

"He is quite short and stout and looks like a cross between Danny Devito and Russell Grant."

Mr Dagnell is about 5ft 4inches, 46, slightly balding and with a London accent.

He wears a chocolate brown suit and tan shoes.

Police have been informed about Mr Dagnell and an investigation is currently underway by trading standards.

If you have been targeted by the biscuit tin scammer call the POST on 0208 477 3778.


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