How to pro­tect your­self against on­line scams

Antelope Valley Press - - NEWS - — Heloise

Dear Heloise: It’s al­ways nice to use so­cial me­dia to stay in touch with friends and fam­ily, but be­ware of shop­ping on­line at so­cial me­dia sites. You might see an ad that has a prod­uct you’d love to have, and they may even say they give a por­tion of their prof­its to a char­ity. So, you place your or­der, giv­ing them your credit card or debit card num­ber, but the prod­uct never ar­rives. Worse, they have your fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion, name and address. Here’s how to pro­tect your­self:

•Do some re­search on so­cial me­dia scams by go­ing to BBB.org/AvoidS­cams or BBB.org/Shop­pingOn­line. There is also Give.org, where you can check out an or­ga­ni­za­tion’s rep­u­ta­tion.

• Look on­line for com­plaints from pre­vi­ous cus­tomers.

• If you’ve been taken ad­van­tage of by a scam­mer, share your con­cerns at BBB.org/ScamTracke­r.

— J.B. in Wis­con­sin

De­clut­ter this year

Dear Heloise: Please ask your read­ers to make an ef­fort to de­clut­ter their homes. Once a year, we go through the house, and ev­ery­thing we don’t need, don’t use, don’t like or is bro­ken gets thrown out or given away. I don’t want my kids to go through what my hus­band and I went through when my in-laws passed away. They lived in a large, three-story house with an at­tic and base­ment, and they hated to part with any­thing. It took us two months and two com­mer­cial trash bins to get ev­ery­thing out of the house.

Over the years, we of­fered to help them sort through things and get rid of items that were bro­ken or that they no longer used or needed, but they de­clined the of­fer each time.

— June and Ch­ester K., Port Huron, Michi­gan

Writ­ing in re­sponse

Dear Heloise: I’m writ­ing in re­sponse to a reader in a pre­vi­ous col­umn. If her son’s fi­ancee is such a prob­lem with not pick­ing up af­ter her­self, never of­fer­ing to help with any­thing around the house and other habits she had, then talk to the son about it — not in an ac­cusatory man­ner, but re­spect­fully.

My own mother-in-law used to rear­range my fur­ni­ture, rear­range my linen closet, tell me what to fix for her son for din­ner, tell me how to raise my kids, was crit­i­cal of my weight and much more. I never said a word and kept the peace.

— Lois D. in Dal­las Lois, there is a fine line be­tween “keep­ing the peace” and the re­fusal to be or­dered about in your own home. Most peo­ple try to ac­com­mo­date the needs of a guest, but if a guest wants to be in­vited back, it’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that they are a “visi­tor” in the home, not the owner.

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