We live in an age where criminals are becoming more and more cunning, more and more devious, and more and more ruthless. Overt crimes such as pickpocketing, mugging, and robbing a bank, have been replaced by more nuanced and covert crimes, such as identity theft, impersonation, and hacking. Crimes that used to be obvious and easy to notice are now becoming more and more difficult to stop.
Unfortunately for most Americans this means that it’s often too late by the time they realize they’ve been victimized. Criminals have become smarter in smarter in the past years, and while America’s law enforcement agencies have done their best to keep up, there’s always a new devious scam being planned out by the more intelligent criminals.
We’ve seen scammers use fake phone calls to trick you into divulging information, we’ve seen them trap people into shady contracts with misleading information, and we’ve even seen them using the “rubber band,” door handle trick, to barge into homeowners homes completely unexpected.But this new one is absolutely disgusting. On the surface it seems like a good Samaritan is just helping another citizen out, but if you look deeper, it’s actually a sinister plot to hustle homeowners out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
This brand new scam has recently been discovered – and it’s been victimizing numerous Americans all across the country. In fact, you may have been victimized without even realizing it.
The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office has issued an extremely urgent warning, after discovering a new way that criminals are tricking individuals into handing over the deeds to their homes, often times costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars – in fact, you may have been targeted without even realizing it.
This new ploy was discovered by the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office just several days ago. They started noticing a large number of individuals coming into the Treasurer’s Office and paying off homeowners past-due taxes without their knowledge, and while this may seem like a generous gift, there’s actually something far more sinister lurking beneath the surface.
So, they decided to investigate. They reached out to homeowners, checked local crime databases, and searched through local jurisdiction records…and what they found was absolutely astounding. It turns out that this innocent gesture of kindness is actually a cunning ploy to gain access to personal information, that could leave you in danger.
More and more homeowners, all across America, are getting eviction notices on their doors – the whole package, from the eviction notice to the warranty deed, to the County Sheriff’s signature and notary stamps, all look completely legitimate.
In fact, the scammers are known for being expert signature forgers, so skilled that even a professional would have trouble discerning their forgeries from the real deal. They’re masters at their craft and are continually improving, each and every day, looking for newer and sneakier ways to trick you.
But, this seemingly real eviction notice is “…actually a ploy to get a property owner out of their home illegally,” reports NBC News Channel 4. “Scam artists do it by forging a warranty deed with either a fake notary stamp or signature.”
“A fake eviction notice,” they go on, “is then posted to your door by the scam artists without assistance from the sheriff’s office.” The idea is to target homeowners who are years past due on their property taxes, and get them to hand over their home unknowingly.
The scammers then “flip the house very soon,” according to Oklahoma County Treasurer Forrest “Butch” Freeman. By the time that the homeowner becomes aware of the scam, the criminal has already put the house on the market, sold it (likely under a fake identity), and bolted off into some far off country with hundreds of thousands in cash.
Some homeowners don’t ever even become aware of the scam, and just lose their homes.
The criminals find almost all of their victims by looking through the Treasury website – they look for individuals who are behind on their property tax payments. That way, if they get an eviction notice, it isn’t something that comes completely unsuspected and out of the blue.
From there, they post a fake eviction notice on the homeowners’ doors, as stated above. Innocent homeowners then fill out the legal paperwork required to transfer the house into the possession of the criminals, unaware that the eviction notice given to them in the first place was fake.
Then, as said before, the scammers put the house on the market, sell it within a matter of weeks at a ridiculously low price, to guarantee that it’s all done quickly, and disappear off into a different state or even a different country, to start this disgusting scam all over again.
If you’ve recently been given an eviction notice, the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office urges you to verify it with your local jurisdiction first. Your property may be at risk.
If you have any family or friends who own homes, they could be targeted by this SICK scam – please give this article a share to prevent any more unnecessary suffering.