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DEAR HELOISE: Please let your readers know there are some unemployment benefit scams out there that take advantage of people who file for unemployment benefits.

There is no fee for filing or qualifying for unemployment benefits. That should be your first clue that you have the wrong internet site. These websites are not connected to any government agency and will offer to help you file for unemployment and ask you for personal information. Most legitimate government websites will end in ".gov."

-- Harry in West Virginia

DEAR HELOISE: When shopping for the perfect wedding dress, I had my mother take a photo of me with my phone wearing the dresses that I liked while holding a note including the name of the shop the dress was in, the price and a couple other notations. This made it easier and less emotional when I made my final decision.

-- Tracy in Arizona

DEAR HELOISE: I love to do crafts, but I was always losing small items and usually found them when the vacuum sucked them up. I went to the hardware store and found all sorts of clear plastic containers meant to hold small nails and screws. Now all of my supplies are organized and neat. No more lost items.

-- Lois in Florida

DEAR HELOISE: I don't have a surgical face mask, so I use a bandana to cover my face when I'm out and about. My daughter claims a bandana is really not a good barrier method, and says I need to order a face mask online. What's the scoop on mask-wearing?

-- Anna in Oregon

DEAR READER: A bandana can be used, but it really isn't the best solution. If you're looking for a more stylish mask, there are sites online that sell face masks that fit better and provide better protection than a bandana. But you can also buy inexpensive, disposable face masks that are effective in containing and preventing transmission of this deadly virus.

DEAR HELOISE: I keep a box of tissues in my bathroom near the sink. When water sprays over the counter, the bottom of the box would get soggy and leave print marks on the countertop. To solve this problem, I found some pushpins and put them on the underside of the tissue box in the corners. I even found colors that matched my bathroom towels. Now the tissues are safe and dry when splashes happen.

-- Connie, via email

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email


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