Southend: Fraudster jailed for three years after investment scam
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A man has been jailed for three years after taking thousands of pounds from his victim for his own use rather than investing it as promised.
Between 2021 and 2022 Lee Kantor, 48, of Chase Court Gardens in Southend-on-Sea, told the victim he could invest their money on their behalf in investment companies.
He took £8,500 from them but never invested the money, instead using it for his own personal living expenses.
When the victim believed the value of his investment had increased he asked Kantor for his money back, which was never returned.
Kantor was arrested in March 2023 and later charged with fraud and money laundering. He pleaded guilty on 6 October 2023 at Chelmsford Crown Court.
Police Constable Rianne Gay, who was the officer in charge of the investigation, said:
“Kantor gave false documentation to the victim to convince him the investment was made, and he deceived the victim to make a gain for himself. "He was sentenced to three years in prison. The length of this sentence rightly reflects his offending and the impact his actions had on the victim."
How do I spot investment scams and fraud?
Investment fraud is usually difficult to spot because they're designed to look like genuine investments. The Criminals may have professional-looking websites and documents.
However, there are some tell-tale signs that suggest an investment opportunity is likely to be a scam:
Companies contact you unexpectedly about an investment opportunity via cold calls, emails or follow-up calls after sending out a promotional brochure.
They pressure you with a time-limited offer, e.g. offer a bonus or discount if you invest before a set date.
They downplay the risks to your money, e.g. they talk about how you'll own the actual assets they may sell if the investment doesn’t work as expected, or use legal jargon to mislead you.
They promise you tempting returns that sound too good to be true, e.g. offer much better interest rates than those offered elsewhere.
They call you repeatedly and keep you on the phone for a long time.
They say they’re only making the offer available to you or even ask you not to tell anyone else about the opportunity.
They offer you legitimate products that seem overvalued, e.g. shares that exist but have little or no resale value.
Do you fit the bill?
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