Dear Heloise: As the manager of a store, I often encounter customers who do not sign the backs of their credit cards, stating they do that so if they are stolen, the thief will not know how to forge the cardholder's signature.
While this is true, what is also true is the fact that the thief would not have to know how to forge the signature, as he or she could just sign the name of the cardholder any way he or she wanted to sign it.
The best and safest way to prevent that from occurring (this comes from both the police and several attorneys) is to simply write "See ID" or "Ask for ID" in the signature box, or I have even had a few people who have only written "C I D." This way, the cashier is required to ask for your ID. Melonie, via e-mail
To sign or not to sign, that is the security question! One credit-card company we asked said "sign the card & quot;; one agreed with the "See ID" hint. I say do both -- sign it and write "C.I.D." if you are concerned. Not signing a card makes it easy for the bad guys to sign it in their writing. Heloise
Dear Heloise: When the time comes to buy your child a new winter coat or jacket, don't just have the child try it on -- let him or her open and close it several times before making your decision. As a recess monitor and a mother, I can tell you that not everyone who is in charge will see to it that a coat is fastened. When a child has difficulty closing a coat, he or she will opt to leave it open. I try to see that all of my little charges have their coats closed, but believe me, there are several who manage to get past me. Eileen Rager, Brewster, Ohio
Dear Heloise: Here are a couple of hints I hope your readers can use when storing away their artificial Christmas tree next year:
As you remove the branches on the tree and bend them back down for compacting to store, tie them in separate bundles for each row. Alternate the direction you lay them in the box to keep them flat. Through the years, our color-coding has worn away, so we re-code them with small bottles of craft paint on the ends of the branches and then dot the pole for the row just removed. Use a new color for each row. Sharlotte Barber, Springfield, Mo.
Dear Heloise: My mom recently had her second knee replacement. She has quite a bit of trouble getting off of the couch and chairs that are low. I purchased chair risers (3- and 6-inch) for under the bed and also under the couch. They did the trick -- I covered the ones under the couch with matching material, and they look great. I highly recommend them for anyone who has trouble trying to get off of a low couch or bed. Linda T., via e-mail
XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, or you can fax it to (210) HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.
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