Melbourne Police Department: Protecting Yourself From Internet Shopping Scams
By Melbourne Police Department // June 22, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Probationary Officer Mike Heindl and Field Training Officer Mike Sampieri were congratulated recently for doing a great job on an interesting theft case.
According to the victims, they loaned a small boat motor to a “friend” who then sold it on Craigslist for an undisclosed amount of money.
The officers were able to hunt down the ad and then work with the victims to get the item back and to place the suspect under arrest for dealing in stolen property.
This is a great reminder to be careful on what you buy from people off the internet.
Here are a few safety tips:
With internet sites like Craigslist and other social media sites increasingly being used for buying and selling, opportunities for scammers and other criminals also increases.
The Melbourne Police Department would like to remind those who utilize these sites to keep their safety a priority.
• If you’re selling, don’t photograph the item with your house easily identifiable in the photo, 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. The police station lobby is a public area and the public is welcome to make the transaction there.
• Avoid having strangers come to your house or 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.