DORAL, FL – Online shopping has become more common than old-fashion regular shopping in the United States. In the face of this, Miami-Dade Police shares a few safety tips through its twitter account to avoid becoming a victim of fraud or theft.
First, the Police advices people not to use debit cards when shopping online, but rather credit cards with low-limits or a third-party payment service like Paypal, ApplePay or SamsungPay.
Also, it’s important to avoid using the automatic log in feature that saves the username and password when visiting particular websites on a regular basis. Instead, users should always log off after finishing shopping.
Before providing personal or financial information through a website, buyers must seek for indicators that the site is secure enough according to the Police.
Such indicators would include a lock icon on the browser’s status bar or a URL for a website that begins with “https.” (The “s” stands for secure.) It should be noted that no indicator is 100 percent foolproof.
To be more secure, it is recommended to shop on trusted sites within the Continental United States, and not on unknown overseas companies.
Protecting packages delivered
Unfortunately, it is not enough to follow guidelines to avoid online fraud as many people are also robbed in their own home doorstep.
To prevent this from happening, one tip provided by The Police is to have packages delivered to the home of a relative or neighbor who will be there to accept them.
If this is not possible, another alternative is to ask if the package can be send to a retail store so the buyer can pick it up at any given time. Many online shopping websites include a “ship to store” option.
If the person can’t be physically present to pick up a package, having a trustworthy neighbor to keep a watchful eye out for the items might be a good choice. “If they’re willing, ask them to safeguard your packages until you return home,” says the Police.
In this line, asking for a tracking number it’s a plus since most major shipping companies offer this service at no charge. This number allows buyers to track their packages and notifies them when they will be delivered.
On the other hand, it is also a precaution measure to request a “Signature Delivery Option.” This requires a signature when the packages are delivered and ensures they will not be left at the front door.
To reinforce safety, buyers could also request a specific drop off time and date to accept the packages.
Other tips include arranging to have the packages held at the shipping service to pick them up, asking the delivery service to leave the packages at a side or back door or, if possible, delivered at the workplace.
Lastly, using video surveillance devices to monitor the front door for deliveries and contacting the sender immediately if the package doesn’t arrive as scheduled could save people a lot of trouble.
Save Heaven places
The Miami-Dade Police Department is committed to keeping residents and visitors safe by providing a safe haven for exchanges made by online transactions.
The public parking areas of all Miami-Dade Police District Stations may be used to conduct online shopping transactions. They operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are public places that deter crime, are well populated and provide a safe location.
The following locations are also safe haven locations for conducting transactions:
– Stephen P. Clark Center
111 NW First St.
Miami, FL 33128
(24 hours, seven days a week)
– North Dade Justice Center
15555 Biscayne Blvd.
North Miami Beach, FL 33160
(weekdays only; 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
– South Dade Government Center
10710 SW 211th St.
Cutler Bay, FL 33189
(weekdays only; 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
– West Dade Permitting and Inspection Center
11805 SW 26th St.
Miami, FL 33175
(weekdays only; 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.)