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The season of giving is here, but some want to take advantage of consumers - here's how to stay safe and secure

Holiday shopping is common around this time of the year, but so is cybercrime. Here's how to stay secure during the time of giving.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — The holiday season is upon us, but it is holiday season for thieves as well.

Not in the way you're thinking, but for cybercriminals.

During this time of the year, they go into overdrive for cybercrimes. So, while we are searching for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, cybercriminals are hard at work searching to find ways to make money from shoppers. The San Angelo Police Department is urging consumers in the area to remain vigilant during their holiday shopping.

SAPD Public Information Officer Tracy Piatt-Fox said, “There is a spike in cybercrime during the holidays, we see there is a lot more gift buying. So, a lot of people are doing their shopping online because of the pandemic, they want to stay out of stores, and they are doing more shopping online.”

Because of more people are participating more in online many more are susceptible to cybercrimes.

"There are lots of things our consumers need to be aware of. Many people need to get plugged into these crime prevention sites looking for the current trends in cybercrimes is really important as well,” Piatt-Fox said.

It is very important to understand how to stay secure from this type of crime and share this with family members as well.

Click here to see 10 cybersecurity tips

For individuals that want to go the cheaper route and use Facebook Marketplace or swap-and-sell websites, the SAPD has a place to make transactions in a safe and secure manner.

“We're asking people that are looking to make that face to face transaction at a secure at the police department. It is well lit, it is monitored by security cameras and officers are always present,” Piatt-Fox said.

Credit: Jaelin Lewis
Secure transaction location at San Angelo Police Department.

Other tips are - keep an eye out for unusual emails or texts and check your bank account regularly. Text alerts from your bank are helpful when it comes to unusual activity on debit and credit cards. Avoid pop-up messages and scam emails - if it seems to be too good to be true, most likely, it is.