Protect Your Property: Oklahoma County Sounds Scam Alert

Oklahoma County officials are warning about a potentially large-scale scam and are asking homeowners to be vigilant.

Thursday, March 28th 2024, 4:37 pm

By: News 9, Colby Thelen


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Oklahoma County officials are warning about a potentially large-scale scam and are asking homeowners to be vigilant.

They say a woman nearly lost her family home through fraud. “Which seems like I just made that up right, but it’s true,” said Oklahoma County Clerk, Maressa Treat. “This was her childhood home.”

Saina Manhatwa inherited the home after her mother passed away in November. “I want to put my story out there,” says Manhatwa. “I pulled up to my mom’s house in January and there was this lady there telling me this is her house. It wasn’t.”

She went to Oklahoma County, which investigated. “Someone was dead and a document was filed nearly 4 months after they died,” Oklahoma County Assessor Larry Stein explains.

The document filed was a Quit Claim Deed much like the one filed by Saina’s grandfather before his death last year.

The new document investigators say was filed by Tyeresha Barnett.

What raised the red flag for investigators was the fact that Saina’s grandfather put the home into a trust. “It was not a proper deed that was filed,” says Stein. “It was an individual instead of a trust.”

The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office says there were also differences in the signatures. “We communicated to the person that they would have to come down and file a new deed,” Stein says. “They did and that’s when we were able to arrest them.”

Sheriff Tommie Johnson says the de-escalation efforts led to a quiet arrest, and the crime he adds left him surprised. “I had no clue myself how easy it was to take someone’s property,” says Johnson.

“If you want to steal property you need to go to another state,” says Treat. “Because in Oklahoma we are done.

 Property owners can enroll in an alert system through the county.

 County officials say an alert for unusual activity is received in 24 to 48 hours.

 To register head to: https://alert.okcc.online/.

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