PORTSMOUTH Police report an increase level of burglaries in the city this Holiday Season, including the emergence of a new credit card scam.

Earlier this month, Portsmouth Police received four reports of suspected 'credit card cloning.'

The scam involves someone using their smart phone to take a picture of the victim's credit card or bank check.

This allows thieves to use their information to make purchases without having to physically steal the card.

'When you're making purchases do not take out your credit card or your check book until it's time to make that purchase,' said Sherre Dozier, a spokesperson with the Portsmouth Police Department.

The four alleged incidents happened between December 1st through the 3rd. In two separate incidents, purchases were made in Katy, Texas.

Police are also beefing up patrols in neighborhoods, where authorities have noticed an uptick in home and car break-ins.

Police say taking simple steps like keeping a light on inside and keeping gifts hidden from plain-sight can reduce your chances of getting targeted.

And you may want to re-think posting pictures of your gifts or broadcasting your travel plans on Facebook and Twitter.

'If they have access to knowing what you have in your house, you will be a target,' Dozier said. 'You never know who may be monitoring your account.'

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