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Something's been bothering me for awhile. . . .
01/04/2020, 14:48:36

    The Elf writes:

    I should have written before, but I just didn't really think it through.

    Many of you like to share happy times with the rest of us, and I'm very happy for you. But there's one thing that perhaps you haven't considered. NOTHING on the internet is secure, unless you've got one of those 25-digit password scramblers that you use religiously. When you write that you'll be away from The Tavern for awhile, because you're going to a two-week vacation in Spain, for example, it's equivalent to a message saying, "Hey, low-lifes! My home will be up for grabs for anything you want to remove from it, even though all the doors and windows are locked!" (This fact might deter them for all of 30 seconds, and confirm that you've got something really worth stealing.) Or perhaps you've got somebody staying at your home for the duration (smart thinking!) But you're still away from any suspicious bank officials who call to question whether you really just bought $3000 worth of sapphire jewelry and a $40000 Mercedes-Benz. (Yes, I'm exaggerating, but even a $20 false charge on your checking account requires a LOT of hassle to correct.)

    I know of which I write, because it happened to us. I'd e-mailed friends and relatives that we were going on a month-long tour of the U. K. When we got back, we found that someone had stolen my identity and charged all sorts of goodies. While we were looking at the Ironbridge at Telford, I allegedly bought a whole new wardrobe at the Macy's in our town, plus a lot of other things at various stores in our county during that month. It took YEARS to get the whole thing corrected completely. Every time we'd get one transaction squared away, we'd get another message from another collection agency, wanting us to clear up that phony charge. (Collection agencies, as a rule, never believe you when you say it wasn't your charge--gee, I wonder why?!)

    So please, my friends, tell about your wonderful trip or tour after you get back, and don't leave yourself open to the predators who comb the internet, even innocent websites like this one.

    With love,

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