More than a quarter of a million South Carolina residents have signed up for free credit protection since the state announced a major hacking incident that exposed 3.6 million Social Security numbers and more than 300,000 credit and debit card numbers at the Department of Revenue.
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said Tuesday the credit monitoring company Experian has agreed to cap expenses to the state at $12 million. Haley says any taxpayer who enrolls in the free coverage will have their credit reports scrutinized daily for an entire year.
"If they see something wrong they will contact you and let you know," says Haley. "If anything happens, they will do fraud resolution for life. So they will go back and hand hold you and make sure you’re fully taken care of ."
The coverage also includes $1 million of identity theft insurance.
Haley and South Carolina law enforcement officials have begun giving daily updates on the state’s response to the security breach, but are not giving details of their ongoing investigation of the incident. Haley said Tuesday the international hacker’s methods were very “sophisticated” and the breach was not caused by any state official or Department of Revenue employee. The U.S. Secret Service is helping with the investigation.
Anyone who has filed a South Carolina tax return since 1998 should take the following steps:
- Call 1-866-578-5422where you will enroll in a consumer protection service. (The call center is open 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM EST on Monday through Friday and 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM EST on Saturday and Sunday.)
- For any South Carolina taxpayer residing in South Carolina who wishes to bypass the telephone option, there currently is an online service available at http://www.protectmyid.com/scdor. Enter the code SCDOR123 when prompted. Every South Carolina taxpayer who takes the time to sign up will be afforded the protection, and that protection is retroactive. South Carolina taxpayers have until the end of January, 2013 to sign up. South Carolina taxpayers who sign up for protection will be notified about how to sign up for a “Family Secure Plan” if they claim minors as dependents.
More information: http://governor.sc.gov/Pages/default.aspx