DEAR MISS MANNERS: My email was hacked. Some of my loving, trusting, generous -- and also naive -- friends were tricked into sending money to scammers because they thought they were helping me.
I am grateful to have such friends, but naturally I feel rotten about this. Everybody tells me I am not to blame, even the ones who were defrauded, but I still feel guilty and responsible.
My etiquette problem is that part of the scam was the promise of repayment. That will not happen.
My friends may not be able to afford losing the money they thought they were simply loaning to me on a short-term basis. As it happens, though technically not responsible, I can help, and am anxious to. How do I go about it in a delicate and sensitive way? They may have their pride.
GENTLE READER: Become exceedingly generous whenever you can, bestowing presents on these generous people.
That should quell any issues of pride. But if they question your generosity, Miss Manners suggests you tell them, "Let's just say that this is from me and the 'prince' who scammed you."