Sheriff warns of online scam

BELLAIRE – Belmont County Sheriff Dave Lucas and his department are getting the word out about a potential scam circulating through the area.

Monday, a Bellaire area resident reported and attempted internet financial scam.

Specifically, the resident advertised a house for rent and receive a response via the internet.

The inquiring individual claimed to be a 24-year-old John Yearwood who is living in the United Kingdom.

He claimed that he was relocating to the U.S. and was looking to pursue a research project with a well-known pharmaceutical company.

The subject then asked for the victim’s name, address and phone number so that a rental payment check could be mailed. The subject provided an international phone number and email address to the victim.

Thursday, the victim received a check totaling $3,500 from Mr. “Yearwood.”

However, the subject telephoned the victim and claimed that the check was mistakenly written $2,000 above the rental price. He asked the victim to mail a “money gram” to his address for that $2,000 to cover his moving expenses to the United States.

The victim became suspicious at this point and verified with the local bank that the check from Mr. Yearwood was not valid. The victim immediately reported this to the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office.

The victim was also instructed to file a complaint at the FBI affiliated website of This website receives the internet complaints and evaluates the case for intelligence and/ or investigation.

Lucas wants to warn all residents of this financial scam and to notify the Sheriff’s Office at (740) 695-7934 if encountering this or any scam.