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Published November 24, 2012, 09:57 PM

Tips to avoid holiday identity theft

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Thanks for being with us, with the major shopping season upon us, authorities want to remind you that thieves see this time as an easy score.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Thanks for being with us, with the major shopping season upon us, authorities want to remind you that thieves see this time as an easy score.

One thing that could really dampen the busy holiday shopping season - identity theft. Just when you need it most, someone else is using your cash and cards.

Erin Brust says she likes to be cautious.

Brust: "A little bit with online shopping, try to be careful not to save my credit card information online and everything like that."

Police say online identity thieves are always coming up with new ways to thwart security software.

But most identity theft doesn't happen in cyberspace.

Vettel: "The most common one we see is where, especially females, leaving their purses in shopping carts."

Some tips, always know where your wallet or purse is. Don't carry a lot of cards and cash, more cards equal more chances for theft, and cash is nearly impossible to recover.

If you are shopping online, make sure it is from a legitimate, secured site.

Your best bet is making sure your identity isn't stolen in the first place. But if it does happen, there are things you need to do right away to minimize the impact.

Vettel: "Really, timing is of an essence. Because, oftentimes, the thefts we do see, they result in somebody immediately utilizing those cards."

Cancel all bank cards to prevent any use, and call police. And these tips aren't exclusive to the holiday season, keeping tabs on your money is always a good idea.

Another good idea is to keep photocopies of bank cards at home.

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