CONCORD, MA (WHDH) – Police in Concord warned residents Wednesday about the possible exposure of private citizen information after the wrong version of the weekly police log was posted on the town’s website earlier this week, officials said.
The log, which is posted to the website around 12 p.m. on Mondays, typically contains information about police incidents and calls for service but does not contain any private or confidential information, according to Police Chief Joseph O’Connor.
On Tuesday, O’Connor said he was alerted to the fact that the wrong version of the log was inadvertently posted online by a department employee. The file has since been taken down and purged from the website cache.
The log that was posted contained the personal information of individuals who had reported incidents or were involved with the Concord Police Department between Jan. 21 and 27. Information that may have been exposed included dates of birth, driver’s license numbers, phone numbers, and social security numbers.
“Human error resulted in the accidental posting of personal information about those who called for service or were otherwise involved with the Concord Police Department over the past week,” O’Connor said in a statement. “On behalf of the entire Police Department, I would like to sincerely apologize for this breach of individual privacy. We are committed to working with all those affected by this.”
The department says it plans to send letters and information packets to everyone who appeared in the log.
Log file creation and website posting procedures are being reviewed to ensure that the incident is not repeated in the future.
In response to the release of private information, police recommended that those affected follow these steps recommended by the Federal Trade Commission:
• Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — for free — by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could signal identity theft. Visit IdentityTheft.gov to find out what to do.
• Review your payment card statements carefully. Look for credit or debit card charges you don’t recognize. If you find fraudulent charges, contact your credit card company or bank right away, report the fraud, and request a new payment card number.
• Place a fraud alert on your credit files. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you. A fraud alert is free and lasts a year.
• Consider placing a free credit freeze on your credit reports. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. Keep in mind that it won’t stop a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.
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