Dear Abby: How can I rescue elderly friend from online scammers?

Already she sent money to one man she met online, and now she’s befriended some other suspicious characters.

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DEAR ABBY: My friend “Lois” is in her 70s. She met a man on a dating site several years ago. I warned her he was a romance scammer, but she kept talking to him. She even sent him a few hundred dollars.

Since then, she has been talking to more than one stranger who I’m pretty sure are scammers as well. I suspect she’s sending them money, too. Lois lives on Social Security, but sometimes comes into small windfalls from a stimulus or the sale of items.

She has been in a relationship with a man she lives with for several years. When I asked her how she would like it if he were doing the same thing, Lois told me she would stop. Now I see she is friends with three or four more strange men on Facebook! I don’t know them, but they sometimes “like” things I post. (I will have to change my settings so that strangers can’t see my posts.)

What’s wrong with her? Does she like to pretend she is rich? They keep sending friend requests to me and my sister. Of course, we don’t accept them. We have warned Lois about this, yet she continues to do the same thing. What can I do? — SEEING CLEARLY IN GEORGIA

DEAR SEEING CLEARLY: Lois is an adult. You have warned her that what she’s doing is a mistake. It may be a waste of her money, but you can’t control her behavior, so accept that fact and live your own life accordingly.

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DEAR ABBY: My son and his wife have been living with us for two and a half years so they can save for a house. Recently, my best friend told me that a mutual acquaintance spotted a picture of my son and his wife on a swinger website. At first I discounted it. Then I started noticing they were going out every Friday and Saturday night. My daughter-in-law was usually dressed provocatively, and they wouldn’t get home until around 5 or 5:30 a.m.

My husband and I are both Christians. Neither of us feel comfortable about the situation. What do you recommend we do? — INCREDULOUS IN TEXAS

DEAR INCREDULOUS: Your son and his wife are adults. You can’t force them to live according to your religious beliefs. But neither do you have to give tacit consent and foster their living a life you do not approve of by turning a blind eye. Check the website for yourself. If what you heard is the gospel, it may be time your adult children made other living arrangements.

DEAR ABBY: My friend’s mom has been sick lately. She’s on oxygen and has a portable oxygen concentrator. I am also on oxygen. Would it be rude of me to ask for her mom’s portable concentrator after she passes? — PRACTICAL IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR PRACTICAL: To ask that question could be perceived as extremely insensitive. Attempt it only if you have the skills of a diplomat.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable — and most frequently requested — poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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