Shopping online has become even more common than going to your local shopping center. With that comes an entirely new set of precautions:
- Do not use debit cards when shopping online, use only credit cards with low-limits, or a third-party payment service like Paypal, ApplePay or SamsungPay.
- If you regularly visit particular websites when shopping, do not use the automatic log in feature that saves your user name and password. Always log off when you're finished shopping.
- Before providing personal or financial information through a website, look for indicators that the site is secure. 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.) Unfortunately, no indicator is 100 percent foolproof.
- Shop on trusted sites within the Continental United States, avoid buying from unknown overseas companies.
- When having your packages delivered:
- Have your packages delivered to the home of a relative or neighbor who will be there to accept them.
- Ask to have your packages delivered to a retail store so you can pick them up at your convenience. See if there is a "ship to store" option, many times this will also save you on shipping costs.
- Ask a trustworthy neighbor to keep a watchful eye out for your packages. If they're willing, ask them to safeguard your packages until you return home
- Ask for a tracking number. Most major shipping companies offer this service at no charge. This number allows you to track your packages and notifies you when they will be delivered. Once delivered, have a trusted neighbor get the package for you.
- 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
- Request a specific drop off time and date when you will be home to accept your packages
- Arrange to have your packages held at the shipping service so you can pick them up
- Ask the delivery service to leave your packages at a side or back door. An enclosed porch where packages are out of sight is also a good option
- If allowed, have the packages delivered to your workplace.
- Use video surveillance devices to monitor your front door for deliveries.
- If your packages do not arrive as scheduled, contact the sender immediately.
Learn about identity theft and fraud.
Using the Internet to buy or sell items?
The Miami-Dade Police Department is committed to keeping residents and visitors safe by providing a safe haven for exchanges from online transactions to take place at any Miami-Dade police station public parking area. Police stations are public places that deter crime, are well populated, operate 24/7, and provide a safe location to conduct Internet sale transactions.
When it's time to meet the buyer/seller for the transaction:
- Meet in a public place.
- Do not meet in a secluded area, or invite strangers to your home.
- Tell a friend or family member where you are going.
- Take your cell phone with you.
- Consider having a friend accompany you.
Safe Haven Locations
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 internet sales transactions. They operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Police stations are public places that deter crime, are well populated and provide a safe location for these transactions.
The following Miami-Dade locations are also safe haven locations for conducting your 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.)