Mattresses are like cars. You don’t buy them that often and, frankly, aren’t always sure what to look for, and what to be on guard against. But Janelle, a reader from Manassas, Va., obviously knows her mattresses. She tells us she rejected three deliveries from Mattress Warehouse because the mattresses were not factory sealed, were the wrong fill weight, and were manufactured six or seven months prior to delivery.

“On their fourth attempt, Mattress Warehouse finally delivered a factory sealed twin Simmons Hayward mattress set to me manufactured on March 8, 2011,” Janelle told “My complaint with Mattress Warehouse has been resolved but I am very concerned for other customers.”

It’s a good reminder to do a little research before a major purchase you don’t make all that often, and to do an inspection before a mattress comes off the truck.

You won!

Each year, thousands of people fall for the old fake sweepstakes scam. Janice, of Anchorage, Alaska, isn’t one of them.

“I received a phone call saying that I won this months sweepstakes drawing,” Janice told “The sweepstakes comes with a check for $2.5 million and a new BMW. He identified himself as John Peters. He asked me how did that sound and I said great if I don't have to pay any money. He said the money was to cover the cost of insurance on the car. I told him that I would be happy to pay it when the car and check are delivered. Of course, he said the amount needed to be wired to them at an address in Jamaica, West Indies.”

Janice was right not to fall for the pitch, obviously using common sense that $2.5 million doesn’t just fall into your lap. Remember, you can’t win a sweepstakes that you didn’t enter.

While we’re on the subject of scams…

In the wake of the federal bailouts, it was common to hear people rhetorically ask, “where’s my bailout?” A new email scam making the rounds plays on that sentiment.

Elizabeth, of Pheonix, Ariz., found it in her inbox this week. It purports to be from an executive at Bank of America and the subject line shouts, “NOTIFICATION OF CREDIT.”

“We have on this day the 28th of March 2011, received a payment credit instruction from Mr. Ben S. Bernanke. The Chairman, Federal Reserve Bank New York, under the instruction of the United Nations and World Bank to credit your account with your US$ 2 million (Two million United States dollars) compensation funds allocated in your name from their reserve account with us,” the message reads.

However, to receive your share of the bailout, you are required to provide an extensive list of sensitive information, including your full name and address, the name of your bank, the bank’s address, your account name, your account number and the bank’s routing number.

In other words, all the information a scammer would need to clean out your bank account. We don’t have to tell you what to do with such a message if you receive it.

Case of the blues

Blue Hippo, the finance company that aggressively marketed overpriced computers to consumers with little or no credit, has been out of business since late 2009. Unfortunately, David, of Allentown, Pa., didn’t get the message.

“I ordered a computer over the phone as instructed by TV ad and.set up auto withdraw from my bank account,” David said. “It has been three years and about $1200 and I still have no computer! I cannot access any blue hippo account info to find out how much I actually paid.

In 2008 Blue Hippo settled with the Federal Trade Commission and agreed to pay $5 million into a restitution fund for consumers like David burned by the company. David should contact Pennsylvania Attorney General William Ryan’s office for information about the fund and assistance.