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Dear Readers: Believe it or not, and despite great efforts to deter it, COUNTERFEIT MONEY is still out there. And the surprising places it's showing up? The family garage, yard or tag sale, and at meetups arranged through online purchases.
At a garage sale, the person with the bad bill will wait until the seller is very busy. Then he or she will ask the seller to make change. The seller gives the person two good $20 bills and a $10, and is left with a phony $50.
Be sure to study the bill given to you closely. Look for the security features built into it: the color-shifting ink on the bottom right corner, and the watermark.
For online sales, meet the purchaser either at a police substation or at a bank -- anywhere that has lots of cameras, and where you can verify the authenticity of the bill. - Heloise
Dear Heloise: Please warn your readers about the online practice of "catfishing." The victim is seduced by a glossy, too-good-to-be-true dating profile and biography, and a stunning picture of someone (maybe a model), not the perpetrator.
A relationship is established, with promises of a lavish lifestyle and gifts. Then calamity strikes. The catfish claims some dire circumstance where she or he is in need of a large sum of money. Don't buy it.
The Federal Trade Commission has some hints to help:
• Never send money electronically (wire transfer) to, or load money on a cash card for, someone you don't know.
• The catfish will inspire a sense of urgency - he or she wants you to rush out and get money. Slow down.
• Contact the dating site AND the FTC at www.ftc.gov/complaint.
I hope these hints help your readers avoid this common online fraud. I wish I had known about them sooner. - Robert in Chicago
Wedding food to go?
Dear Readers: Today's SOUND OFF is about inappropriate behavior at a wedding:
"Dear Heloise: I recently went to a wedding and was appalled when a couple of the guests went to the buffet table and started to load up plastic containers with food. Neither the bride nor the groom gave them permission to help themselves to 'takeout' and certainly NOT to fill 10 containers with food. Have people lost all manners these days?" - A Reader in Pennsylvania
Someone from the catering staff should have talked to them. Behavior like that is inappropriate. - Heloise
Dear Readers: Here are some other uses for stand-up paper towel holders:
• Use to hold additional rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom.
• Keep bracelets stored and easy to find.
• Keep large rolls of various types of tape on them.
Dear Heloise: I have a cloudy-looking fiberglass shower door. I hate the way it looks. How can I get it to shine once more? - Bess M., Hollywood, Fla.
Bess, if you want your fiberglass shower door to sparkle, wash it with 4 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of water. Or put baking soda on a damp sponge for scrubbing action. - Heloise
Dear Heloise: I just bought a nice pair of jeans, but how can I keep the blue from fading? These fit so well that I want to keep them looking good. - Rose V., Council Bluffs, Iowa
Rose, first, turn your jeans inside out, then wash them in cold water and dry on the lowest heat. Try dry-cleaning them once every five or six washings to slow down the fading process. If your jeans fade too much, you can always dye them to restore the color. - Heloise
Dear Heloise: How do I get rid of hard-water buildup on my drinking glasses? - Leah S., Jericho, N.Y.
Leah, to remove hard-water buildup on drinking glasses, try soaking the glasses in warmed (not boiling) household vinegar for about an hour (or overnight), then scrubbing them with a nylon-net scrubber. If the hard-water buildup does not come off, you may have permanently etched the glass, and nothing can be done to correct this problem.
Looking for more easy household hints? If so, you'll love my pamphlet Heloise's Fantabulous Vinegar Hints and More! To get a copy, send $5, along with a stamped (70 cents), self-addressed, long envelope, to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Or you can order it online at www.Heloise.com. Vinegar will clean all things glass, including decanters, windows, mirrors and windshields. - Heloise
Dear Readers: Recently, the Food and Drug Administration has taken issue with several companies that claim their vitamins help or prevent Alzheimer's disease. In fact, these false claims may stop someone from seeing a qualified physician for an accurate diagnosis.
While dietary supplements may be good for a person's overall health, claims that taking certain nutrients can help Alzheimer's disease have yet to be proven. - Heloise
(c)2019 by King Features Syndicate Inc.