There are three ways to use the new PKR:

  1. Browse and click on color-coded boxes that appear as if by magic as you scroll down.
  2. Click on a category for all the ParenTips under that particular category.
  3. Go to the Site Map (link) for an:
    • a) alphabetical list of all ParenTips.
    • b) A list of all 8 categories with every ParenTip in that category listed alphabetically.

Or mix and match! Have fun as you get the information you need!

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The US Postal Service sent me, and I presume everybody else who has a mail box, a brochure on recognizing and preventing FRAUD.

The WARNING SIGNS start with a deal that “sounds to good to be true,” pressures you to act right away, guarantees success, requires an upfront investment, promises a free prize, doesn’t look or sound or feel right.

Fraudulent offers can come by mail, email, or telephone. USPS advises us to never click on a link inside an email to visit a website, rather type the address in your browser. Verify a business you are unfamiliar with by checking with the Better Business Bureau. Review receipts, statements, and packing slips. Shred confidential documents.

We are reminded that your bank will never call or email you for your account number. Be wary of work-at-home offers, emails asking for money to share “millions,” and foreign lotteries. All no-win situations.

The USPS even gets in the parenting education business. I welcome the competition as parents need all the help and advice offered from any reliable source.

“It’s never to early to become an informed consumer. Point out ‘too good to be true’ offers to your kids and teach them to be skeptical.”

I totally agree. One task of parenting is teaching our children how to live and succeed in the world we live in. Our world today is complex; one of the complexities is that there are and always will be people trying to trick us, defraud us, cheat us.

This is not new. The Romans taught us Caveat Emptor! or BUYER BEWARE! But there are new variations on the old theme: identity theft, internet fraud, telephone scams, door-to-door scam artists, highway rest stop predators. There will be new ones to worry about down the line.

Savvy parents will find a way to teach their children to be cautious without instilling a dark way of looking at the world. You want to end up with a child who is savvy but not suspicious of everybody.

Yes, point out the “too good to be true” offers. Tell your kids there are dishonest people in the world but add that most people are good which is true. Be sure to point out that you would never cheat and you expect your children to be honest now and when they are grown up.

The USPS adds that we should also take an active interest in the finances of aging parents and share information about scams with friends and family and members of your social network.