Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Men Married to Television Turn Wives Into Widows

DEAR ABBY: I am writing regarding the letter from the lady in her 70s who had been victimized by telephone scams and had ended up broke and in debt, not daring to tell her husband.

You told her to tell the Mr. because "two heads are better than one in a crisis." You should know that senior citizens have available more "heads" than just their own. Because of the number of older victims in so many different scams, there are ombudsmen in most (if not all) states who will give assistance or put these people in touch with those who can help them.

One of the services available in our area is free legal assistance, which this lady could use. It appears that not very many people, elderly or otherwise, are aware of the various kinds of services that are out there. The only way I became aware is through volunteer work that I do at a local senior center. Our ombudsman follows up on all kinds of abuse claims and counsels on any matter that may be beyond the capability of people like the lady who wrote to you.

Tell your senior readers to find out where their closest senior center is and what services they offer. They do a lot more than provide hot lunches. -- EVELYN TANNER, KAYSVILLE, UTAH

DEAR MS. TANNER: Thank you for a valuable addition to this column.