S.C. Hacking

Time running out for free SC credit monitoring: Here’s how to enroll

ashain@thestate.comMarch 28, 2013 

More than one-third of the 3.8 million consumers whose S.C. tax return information was stolen by hackers in September have enrolled for a free year of Experian credit monitoring offered by the state.

Registration ends Sunday.

Here are some questions and answers on credit-monitoring enrollment and identity-theft protection in the wake of the nation’s largest hacking of a state agency:

How do I know if I am eligible to enroll for credit monitoring?

Consumers whose tax return information was stolen should have received notification letters or emails in December, January and February from the revenue department. (If you did not receive notification and have filed state returns electronically, sign up for the monitoring).

Hackers took information on returns filed electronically since 1998. Files containing paper returns were not breached, state officials said.

What’s included?

In addition to getting alerts about changes in your credit reports from all three national agencies, Experian offers lifetime identity-theft resolution and $1 million in credit fraud insurance for the free year.

How do I enroll?

• Online: ProtectmyId Site and enter the code SCDOR123.

• Phone: (866) 578-5422 from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

(The revenue department suggests enrolling online to avoid wait times on the phone.)

What if I have questions?

The revenue department’s Data Breach Assistance Team will answer questions at (803) 898-7638 from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The team can offer information on identity protection and coordinate with Experian to resolve any problems.

Can I still enroll my children?

Yes, but parents must register themselves by Sunday. Experian checks tax records and will notify you in an email when you can enroll your children listed as dependents. Enrollment for children ends May 31.

Hackers got personal information belonging to 1.9 million dependents listed on returns.

What if I own a business?

Two companies are offering free credit monitoring to the nearly 700,000 S.C. businesses with information lost to hackers:

• Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. (lifetime coverage; enrollment ends Dec. 31): dandb.com/sc or (800) 279-9881.

• Experian (one-year; enrollment ends Sunday): smartbusinessreports. com/southcarolina

Where can I learn more?

The S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs will hold a Twitter chat on identity-theft prevention from noon-1 p.m. today . Use the hashtag #SCDCAsecure when asking questions. The agency’s handle is @scdca.

The department has prevention information, including placing credit freezes on you credit reports to avoid unauthorized accounts, on its website: www.consumer.sc.gov

I have already enrolled. How do I check whether I have any issues on my credit reports?

You should receive monthly emails updates as well as alerts if any changes are made to your credit reports. You can check on your account anytime at protectmyid.com. (If you cannot remember your user name or password, the site will guide you through recovering them.)

Will the state offer credit monitoring beyond this year?

Perhaps. A bill has been introduced in the S.C. Senate that calls for 10 years of free credit monitoring. Some bills propose tax credits for purchasing credit-fraud protection services.

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