Safe Online Shopping
- Before surfing the Internet, secure your personal computers by updating your security software. Everyone’s computer should have anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-spam software.
- Save all receipts. Print and save all confirmations from your online purchases. Start a file folder to keep all receipts together and to help you verify credit card or bank statements as they come in.
- Use secure websites for purchases. Look for the icon of a locked padlock at the bottom of the screen or “https” in the URL address.
- Shop with companies you know and trust. Check for background information if you plan to buy from a new or unfamiliar company.
Staying Safe at the Mall or Shopping Center
- Keep purses and handbags closed and within site while shopping. Do not leave your credit cards out. Do not leave your purse in a shopping cart unattended — even for a moment.
- Always park in well-lit areas.
- Always lock your car.
- Do not leave packages visible in your car windows. Lock them in the trunk or, if possible, take them directly home.
- Keep all valuables out of sight — including purses, GPS devices, phones, sunglasses, and gifts.
Shopping with Small Children
- If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you are separated from each other.
- Select a central meeting place.
- Teach children to know they can seek assistance from clerks, security guards/law enforcement should they get separated.
Safety Tips for Craigslist/Classified Ad Shopping and Selling
- If you’re selling, don’t photograph the item with your house easily identifiable in the background, especially if you’re selling high-value items.
- Never meet someone alone — bring a friend with you.
- Tell a friend or family member where you are going.
- Take your cell phone with you.
- Always arrange to meet in a well-lit public place. You are welcome to use the lobby of the Melbourne Police Department’s station at 650 N. Apollo Blvd., Melbourne, FL 32935.
- Do not have strangers come to your house, and do not go to a stranger’s house.
- Be suspicious if the buyer/seller refuses to meet at a public place or changes the agreed-upon meeting place.
- Don’t accept personal checks or money orders.
- Trust your instincts — If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.