Oklahoma Co. Sheriff, Treasurer Warn Of New Scams

Tuesday, June 20th 2017, 10:02 pm
By: News 9

Investigators are warning residents about two new scams happening in Oklahoma County, possibly in an effort to flip houses for fast cash.

Investigators said the first ploy involves paying off a homeowner's past due taxes without their knowledge and falsely claiming ownership of that home.

“If someone comes in and pays your taxes, that gives them zero claim on your property,” Oklahoma County Treasurer Butch Freeman said.

Paying off someone’s past due taxes is not illegal.

Investigators said the scammers are also storming doorsteps and posting fake eviction notices -- preying on the property owners for a reason.

“They realize that once this happens, it starts the motion to start getting into a civil action. And they realize that you haven’t been paying your taxes, you’re probably short on cash, so they’re taking a chance that you are not going to be able to go to court and be able to hire a lawyer and try to fight this,” Mark Opgrande with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office said.

Investigators said the second snow job involves filing forged warranty deeds at the county clerk's office.

This creates a mess in the system and a major headache for the homeowner, according to Freeman.

The scams have come to light in just the last week. So far, investigators said they are looking into 9-10 cases and they expect the number to rise.

But authorities said it's only a matter of time before they catch those responsible.

“It may not be tomorrow, it may not be this weekend, but it will be,” Freeman said.

Anyone getting a suspicious eviction notice should call the sheriff's office immediately. If the person delivering it is still at your door, Opgrande said victims should call 911 so an officer respond.