An alleged conman accused of selling advertising space in a fake newspaper has been exposed by Archant’s Barking and Dagenham Post
The man, who used the name Mark Dagnell, lured clients into advertising into a fake paper called the South East Advertiser, and then disappeared with their money.
Dagnell was brought to light in an article by the Post after he targeted Essex Wrought Iron, a company that manufactures and installs gates.
The company’s spokesperson said Dagnell carried a biscuit tin under his arm, and gave her a false sense of security with his trustworthy manner.
She said: “When he walks into a meeting he says ‘I’ve got the biscuits; you get the tea’ in a jokey way.”
The company lost more than £2,000 after they placed an ad in the non-existent paper. After the deal had been done, they decided to look up the South East Advertiser on the website of Companies House, the organisation where businesses are registered.
They discovered the fake paper had been dissolved the day before they handed over the cheque in May and that Dagnell was the director of 11 other companies which were later dissolved.
Several companies in London contacted the news desk of the Post after the article had been published, with stories on how they were also conned by a man calling himself Dagnell.
A Peterborough TV satellite installation company, TA Baker, said they had been contacted by Dagnell on 9 September. They became suspicious after Dagnell kept changing the ad prices. They did some internet research and found the article in the Barking andd Dagenham Post warning of Dagnell’s activities.
A Jazz musician also fell for Dagnell’s good Samaritan role. He said he was fooled by the man’s friendly manner and spent £500 advertising the services of his band.
Mr Dagnell is descrbied as being 5ft 4 inches tall, in his mid forties, slightly balding and with a London accent. He has been seen wearing a chocolate brown suit and tan shoes.
Police have been informed about the activities of the alleged conman and an investigation is underway.