KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Cyber Monday is the biggest online shopping day of the year. Sales are expected to surpass this year’s Black Friday sales, which, according to experts, were the highest on record.

When shopping online and preparing to have your items delivered, there are some safety measures you should take.

According to the Knoxville Police Department, both online phishing scams and thefts increase during the holidays. They have some tips on how to protect yourself from becoming a victim.

“The latest numbers from Abode analytics found that it was a record-breaking Black Friday with people shopping and spending more than 9 billion dollars overall and Cyber Monday is supposed and expected to be even higher,” RetailMeNot Shopping Expert Kristin Mcgrath said.   

She added, “When it comes to Cyber Monday, the key is comparison shopping. a lot of the same retailers will be offering the exact same prices on the exact same items across the board, but maybe one’s offering a free shipping offer, maybe one has a slightly better promo code that gets you a little extra off, maybe one is offering better rewards.”

“We always tell anybody, one of the biggest tips we’re going to give you is to make sure you are always shopping from reputable known websites,” said spokesperson for KPD Scott Erland.

Erland said that Cyber Monday and the days after can be prime time for scammers and thieves,

“When you look at trends, we do see this trend up around thanksgiving and on through the end of the year and that’s kind of been the trend for the last few years.”

Erland stated that there are several ways to try to keep your packages from getting stolen, like having them sent to your work or having a trusted neighbor check your house once the package is delivered.

“Even if it’s as simple as hiding it where it’s not out in plain view, hiding it behind a piece of furniture on your porch, you can utilize that method there,” he said. 

However, if you do end up becoming a victim Erland says, “They should always be reported to the police first and foremost. If your package is delivered and even if you don’t have any evidence, it needs to be reported to the police because we need to know these things are happening. What if for example a whole neighborhood has been hit or something where we need to get officers out there patrolling that area to see if they can drum up a lead or find somebody who’s doing or prevent further thefts.”

According to KPD, package thefts from residences and apartment complexes have increased since 2019.

There were 65 package thefts in Knoxville in 2019. Then in 2020 that shot up to 84, followed by 94 in 2021. So far this year, there have been 77 reported package thefts in Knoxville alone.