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Read the fine print when signing that business contract

Dear Readers: Whenever you enter into a business agreement with a company, read the fine print. Why should we take time to read it? A lot can be contained in that very small print.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov) is rife with warnings about fake sweepstakes and prize drawings, among other scams. Mailers will scream in big print: “YOU’RE A WINNER” and “YOU’VE WON A CASH PRIZE,” or this: “THERE ARE PAYMENTS WAITING FOR YOU!” And then in tiny print is a requirement that you mail in a fee to claim your prize. No legitimate sweepstakes will require you to buy items or pay a fee.

Lots of times, with these scams there never even was a prize, and the companies are fake, too.

To add insult to injury, if we respond to them, these companies can sell our names, addresses, telephone numbers and other information, subjecting us to more junk mail. Don’t be fooled! Always read the fine print. — Heloise

TECH TUESDAY

Dear Heloise: Why are there ridges on the F and J keys on my computer keyboard? I’m just learning to type! — Jessica (age 13) via email

Jessica, on a typical QWERTY keyboard (“QWERTY” spells out the first six letters on the top row), the F and J keys do have a tiny ridge, bump or hash mark. When you become a more experienced typist and can type by touch, these ridges indicate where your pointer fingers should be placed on the keyboard. This should make it easier and faster to type! — Heloise

FUNERAL DETAILS

Dear Heloise: I would like to respond to the reader asking about addresses in death notices. In my area, the family, along with the help of the funeral home, publishes the death notices. There is a cost associated with the notice.

When my husband passed away last year, the death notice and obituary in two local papers charged by the word. The total cost was over $1,000 without including contact information for the church and charities.

Losing a loved one and planning a funeral are among the most stressful events anyone will ever experience. Please find a way to be compassionate and take a tiny bit of the burden off the family by learning to search the internet for the address and other details. — Jean, via email

ICE? MAYBE NOT

Dear Heloise: I was at a restaurant and watched a worker fill a bin with ice, dump it in the ice receptacle and then flip the bin upside down and stand on it to reach the cups! No way! — David K., via email

HELOISE.COM

Readers: Got a free minute? Check out my newly designed website! You’ll find handy how-to’s, classic Heloise hints, lifestyle guidelines and our funny and furry Pet Pals! Visit www.Heloise.com! — Heloise

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Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.

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