Dear Readers: Want to avoid scammers? Would you like to protect your identity and money? Here are a few suggestions from AARP:
- Freeze your credit report. You can always unfreeze your report, but this is how scammers get a lot of information about you. The credit reporting bureaus are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
- Invest in a good shredder. Shred all bills and all financial documents. Keep scammers from fishing information out of your trash.
- Do not give out your Social Security number. Places like a doctor’s office don’t need your Social Security number, no matter what they say.
- Don’t answer phone calls from numbers you don’t know, and hang up on all robocalls. Don’t give out any information. Ever.
- Stop entering sweepstakes or anything for which there is a drawing. You don’t know who is looking at your information.
Dear Heloise: With our summer heat, it’s important to remind people to make sure their pets have plenty of water, and please bring your pets indoors during the hottest part of the day. Above all, never leave a pet in your car on a hot day, even with the windows rolled down. In many states now, it’s illegal to leave a pet in a hot car. It is punishable by a stiff fine. — Shelly N., Clawson, Mich.
Dear Heloise: We went on a trip and were gone for a week. When we got home, we discovered we had a leak from an upstairs toilet that ruined all the wood floors downstairs and caused mold to grow in corners of our walls, which required replacing some of the drywall. Please warn your readers to shut off their water before taking a trip of a week or more. A valve is usually located out near the sidewalk. — Joyce M., Fayetteville, Tenn.
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Dear Heloise: Please consider rethinking your response to thank-you notes for wedding gifts. It’s not the bride’s responsibility to write the thank-you notes; rather, it’s the couple’s responsibility. — Pam in Kansas
Pam, you’re absolutely right! Today, roles for people are changing. That said, women still do most of the thank-you notes, but I’d like to see more men get involved and help their new wives perform this task. — Heloise
CHARGE YOUR PHONE
Dear Heloise: If you want to charge your phone quickly, plug it into the wall, not a PC.
Think about investing in a fast charger, but check your phone’s manual or the manufacturer’s website to see what’s required for your make of phone. It’s usually not necessary to turn your phone off while charging, but be sure to check your phone’s manual, just to be certain. — John W., Middletown, Del.
IT’S IN THE BAG
Dear Heloise: I ripen bananas, tomatoes and peaches in a paper bag on the kitchen counter. This traps the natural ethylene gases that many fruits release, and that speeds up the ripening process. — Carrie W. in Ohio