Hear ye this scam

Dear Readers: If you receive a phone call, and the voice on the other end, whether live or recorded, says, “Can you hear me?” what should you do?

The Federal Trade Commission (www.consumer.ftc.gov) is aware of this situation and has some hints:

* Don’t say anything; just hang up.

* Let your phone carrier know so that a record can be made and a pattern, if any, established.

* Put your number on the Do Not Call registry by calling 888-382-1222.

* Register a complaint with the FTC at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov, or call 877-382-4357.

Protecting ourselves from scams is an important task that we all must take seriously. — Heloise

ANGER MANAGEMENT

Dear Heloise: I’ve found a simple way to defuse a situation if I feel tense, especially when dealing with customer-service representatives on the phone. Sometimes I get upset and stressed out.

All I do is calmly say, “I’m really mad right now.” This helps me confront my feelings, and the representative, who cares about service and the customer, will know I’m unhappy.

Once I say it, I instantly feel better. There’s no reason to be rude to the representative; he or she is trying to help. But if I calmly state how I feel, it makes me feel better, and we can work together to solve the problem! — Diane V. in Illinois

GLASS ATTACK

Dear Heloise: Our extended family of 20 enjoys renting a beach house occasionally. After having half-empty soda cans, iced-tea glasses and water glasses sitting around with no one claiming them, it seemed to be extremely wasteful

I bought insulated beach-themed tumblers with matching lids and straws. When we arrived, each family member was told to pick one and label it with his or her name.

Throughout the week, each person was responsible for filling the tumbler, washing it and keeping track of it. When it was time to go home, that was the person’s souvenir.

It worked beautifully! We had not wasted the beverages like in previous years, and it saved the dishwasher some work. — A Smart Grandma in Pennsylvania

I’LL GET TO THAT

‘WRITE’ AWAY

Dear Heloise: I would like to enter contests, I would love to write to a company about its products, or write if I have a question or I am happy with the products.

But I don’t have a cellphone with an internet connection or a computer, so I can’t. Most companies don’t put their address on their products anymore — it is all “.com”!

Do you think you could write in your column to put these addresses on their products? It’s hard if you have a question, etc. — A Reader in Ohio

——

Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.

COMMENTS