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HELOISE Reader raises concerns about identity theft



Published: Tue, April 19, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Dear Heloise: I have been a longtime reader, and I have wondered why you print the full name, city and state of the person who has written to you with a hint. I've been meaning to write this to you for months. But my local paper printed a hint in your column that has finally forced me to sit down and write to you.

In this day and age of identity theft, let alone burglaries, I would think that not using the last name and city/state of a person who writes to you would be the norm. Now, a simple check of a phone book or the Internet will most likely give anyone who is looking an address and a phone number.

I know people want to get credit for having their hint published in the newspaper. But I think personal safety must come first. On top of which, identity theft, as I mentioned earlier, is on the rise all over the country.

I am hoping that you will stop the practice of publishing the full names, cities and states of your hint-givers. I think they will understand if you do this for their protection.

Thank you for your time, and thank you for all the hints through the years. My entire family reads your column, and we put into practice a lot of your hints. Renee in California

Renee, your letter does bring up a valid point. I always try to protect my readers. If they request that their name be printed in a certain manner (as you did), I oblige. As you pointed out, many readers want their names and cities printed in the column. It's nice for those who read my column to see that questions and great hints come from other newspaper readers across the country and Canada.

But, we decided that we would ask our readers what they think. Please take a few minutes to drop us a line at any of the following: Heloise@Heloise.com; fax, (210) HELOISE (435-6473); or mail, Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279. In a future column, we will share the responses we have received. Heloise

P.S. I edited your letter to eliminate a specific reader hint so we would not bring attention to that reader.

Dear Heloise: Here's my hint for storing owner's manuals that come with appliances. I got a three-inch binder, bought heavy-duty sheet protectors and labeled the binder "appliances." Now I put all my manuals, receipts, schematics and what have you in their own sheet protectors.

It is so handy to only have to pull out the binder, and there I have everything I need all in one place. Occasionally, all the materials are too much for one sheet protector, so I just pull out another, but I can always find whatever I need, as I always store it in the same place. Rande, via fax

Dear Heloise: To help me remember for whom I have not bought baby gifts, I clip the birth announcements out of the newspaper. I keep these until I buy a gift. If I still have the announcement, I have not given them a gift. When I give the gift, I also give them the announcement. Cindy from Texas

XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000; fax to (210) HELOISE, or e-mail heloise@heloise.com.

King Features Syndicate




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