Hints from Heloise: Scammers continue to abound

Dear Heloise >> Can you believe it?! There’s yet another scam going on, and this one has snared a fair number of people. It starts out with: “Congratulations! You could win $5,000cash. Just click on the button below.”

First, they misspelled the word “congratulations.” This should be your first clue that something is off. Next, there is nothing to indicate who these people are or how you just happen to be the lucky recipient of $5,000. It only tells you to click on the button to proceed to your winnings.

The worst thing you can do is “click” on the button. Why? Because these are scammers who, at first, just want your name, address and phone number. But then, they will move onto ask for your bank information and Social Security numbers. So, whatever you do, don’t click on the button.

With so many people affected by inflation and the rising cost of everything — plus, the holidays are right around the corner — it’s very tempting to think that you’ve won all that extra money. We’d all love to receive an unexpected windfall of cash, but this isn’t it. Don’t become a victim of someone else’s greed. You might be thinking you’ve got a 50-50 chance of winning something, but you actually don’t. Scams are always stacked in favor of the scammer.

— William F., Bloomington, Indiana

Dear William >> Thank you for this heads-up about a scam that seems to have affected a number of people in several states.

Fall cleaning is already here, so don’t forget to:

• Take a damp cloth and clean the baseboards around your floor.

• Clean the windows and screens with warm soap and water.

• Clean out the pantry and discard any dated items. Also, clean the shelves.

• Have your chimney sweeper come in and clean the chimney.

• Make sure your dryer vents are cleaned, too.

• Update smoke detector batteries, and have your wool sweaters dry-cleaned.

Dear Heloise >> To keep my grocery list from including items I don’t really need, I use a basket with handles to carry everything. This has kept me from impulse-buying things that will ruin my diet or that I shouldn’t be eating. That basket gets heavy after a short time, so when it does, I just go to the checkout stand.

Not only has this helped me save on needless spending, it’s also kept me from buying the bakery goods I love and helped me to lose 10 pounds!

— May R., Lakeland, Florida

Dear May >> Using a handheld basket is a great way to carry the things you need and save you from overspending. Another clever trick is to make a list of items you need and stick to it, but give yourself a reward if you don’t add in any items while at the grocery store. The reward could be as simple as taking a nap after you put your groceries away, relaxing with a book or calling a friend to chat.

Write to Heloise

P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 210-HELOISE

Email: Heloise@Heloise.com

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