Ask an Officer

Question: Are there ways to protect yourself from identity fraud? 

Answer: Kate McLaughlin, Community Policing Specialist 

Identity theft is a serious crime that occurs when your personal information is stolen which can cost you time and money, and destroy your credit and name.  Some ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft include:

  • Shredding all documents before discarding them in the trash.
  • Do not carry your social security card with you and be absolutely sure it is necessary if you need to give it out.
  • Never give out personal information over the phone, mail, or internet unless you know who you are dealing with.
  • Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails.
  • Don’t use obvious passwords like birthdates, mother’s maiden name, or digits from your social security number.
  • Keep your personal information in a safe place at home.
  • Be alert when bills do not arrive at your home as expected, or credit card statements arrive that are not your account, or you are contacted about a purchase you did not make.
  • Inspect your credit report which is free to do once a year, visit
  • Review financial accounts and billings regularly to look for charges you did not make.

If you become a victim of identity theft, place a fraud alert on your credit cards, close your accounts, file a police report, and report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission.  Important numbers include: Equifax 1-800-525-6285, Experian 1-888-397-3742, and TransUnion-1-800-680-7289.   The Federal Trade Commission offers resources to assist you and can be contacted at 1-877-438-4338 or

If you would like to submit a question to Ask an Officer, contact Community Policing at the Euclid Police Department:  email or call 216-289-8449.     

Kate McLaughlin

I am the Community Policing Specialist at the Euclid Police Department.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 4:01 PM, 03.09.2017