Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Reader should beware of potential scammers

- ABIGAIL VAN BUREN Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069 or visit

Dear Abby: This is in response to “Living a Soap Opera” (Jan. 3), the unhappy woman who is married to an alcoholic. She is flattered by the three younger men she’s conversing with online. My experience is that when men say they are in a place where you can’t meet them, such as stationed far away in the army or on a ship, and they immediatel­y fall in love with you, it’s most likely a scam.

I’m not saying this to hurt her feelings or deflate her ego, but for the purpose of safety. If they start asking for money, beware! Vulnerable people get scammed in this way. Sadly, I know this from experience. I wanted to give her a heads-up. — Thankful I Caught On

Dear Thankful: Many readers saw red flags in “Living’s” letter, with some pointing out that the “in the military” scenario is a common one. “Living” should do research on “catfishing” and scams, and never send money for any reason. Readers also recommende­d she attend Al-Anon meetings if she hasn’t been, and look for activity groups locally to add some positivity to her life.

Dear Abby: I have been with my husband for 10 years. Last year, his brother’s baby mama died, and we are stuck raising his brother’s 11-yearold son. I told my husband I don’t want to do this, but he refuses to listen. My youngest child is 28 years old. I think he is choosing this over our marriage. — Post-Parent In South Carolina

Dear Post-Parent: This should not have been a unilateral decision. Why isn’t the boy’s father raising his son? Are there other relatives, such as your in-laws, who could step in? If your husband is set on going forward over your objection, make clear in advance that because you have raised your children, he will be doing the heavy lifting — cooking, laundry, homework supervisio­n, school conference­s, etc., for his nephew — not you. That poor boy deserves to be raised in a loving home, so please make an effort to be kind to him.

Dear Abby: Years ago, my father gave my mother a mink coat and a diamond necklace. Afterward, he left her for another woman. Mom gave me the items because she wouldn’t wear them. She passed away several years ago, and now, due to health expenses, I need the money the necklace may bring. Am I wrong to sell it? My daughter doesn’t want me to, but she doesn’t know the whole story. — Letting Go In Virginia

Dear Letting Go: Because you need the money the necklace would bring, by all means sell it. And when you do, explain to your daughter that while she may consider the necklace to be a treasured heirloom from her grandmothe­r, it’s really a reminder of a painful betrayal, and necessity dictates that you unload it now.

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