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OPINION | DEAR ABBY: Son fears his father may be victim of online scams

by Abigail Van Buren | November 19, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.

Dear Abby: My father, who is retired, has been living alone for many years. I suspect he gets scammed for money on the internet. I know for sure it has happened twice. I have talked to him about it more than once. He routinely forwards me emails to check if they are legitimate. However, I think he falls for romance scams and is too embarrassed to tell me. He isn’t going to go into debt, but I’m still concerned. Should I do more, even though it may be uncomfortable for us both? — Concerned Son In Nova Scotia

Dear Son: If you think your father has fallen for romance scams in the past, you should have more discussions with him about how prevalent they are and what to watch out for. Do not personalize it if you think it might embarrass him, but do mention the danger of sending money to someone he might know only online. Do some research. If you think this is what may be happening, forward your findings to him after the discussion.

Dear Abby: Every time we see my wife’s family, her parents pressure me to buy a car. (Our old one got totaled.)

I got sick of the nagging, so I purchased a 9-year-old vehicle. When I brought it home, my wife began griping incessantly about my choice. She didn’t like it and wanted to return it, so I did.

The next time we saw her parents, we told them we didn’t need a car and we’re happy without one. It made them very upset. They continue to pester me about it. What should I do ? — No Car In Alabama

Dear No Car: Understand that your in-laws probably mean well, but do not allow yourself to be dragged into an argument about your decision. Tell them you do not wish to discuss it further and, if they persist, see them less often — much less often.

Dear Abby: I have a wonderful neighbor who loves to give me beautiful flower bouquets. Although I appreciate her very much, I do not enjoy receiving flowers. I don’t like seeing them die. Also, I don’t have enough room for all the vases. I don’t know how to let her know I no longer want flowers as gifts. I would like to be as tactful as possible without hurting her feelings. Please help. — Overwhelmed In Arizona

Dear Overwhelmed: Invite your generous neighbor to lunch and give her a small gift. (Candy, perhaps.) During the lunch thank her for her kindness and praise her for her flower arranging talent, but add that watching them die depresses you, and to please stop. Ask if she would like you to return her vases, and if she says yes, have them boxed and ready to give to her. If she refuses, find out if a neighborhood florist can use them. If not, recycle or toss them.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles,CA 90069 or visit



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