Politics & Government

Worried about identity theft after Equifax hack? SC can help


The Equifax hacking could impact nearly half the country’s population – or 143 million people – begging the question: Who isn’t worried about their wallet being hijacked?

However, S.C. taxpayers on the hunt for affordable credit monitoring may find free help at home.

The S.C. Department of Revenue already is paying for credit monitoring for eligible taxpayers. S.C. taxpayers can check their eligibility for coverage and sign up on the department’s website.

The coverage, offered through CSID, has nothing to do with the recent data breach at the Equifax credit-reporting behemoth.

Instead, it is part of the state’s promise to provide free credit monitoring to potential victims of a 2012 hacking that struck the Revenue Department.

That intrusion compromised the personal and financial information of about 6 million S.C. businesses, taxpayers and their dependents on tax returns dating back to 1998.

Over the last four years, the state has paid about $16.4 million to offer free credit monitoring to about 220,000 people in connection with that breach.

However, that number is down dramatically from the nearly 1.5 million who signed up the first year the service was offered. (Translation? There’s a good chance you are eligible.)

The state’s five-year contract with CSID to provide coverage to South Carolinians runs out in October 2018, meaning S.C. lawmakers will have to decide whether to continue to pay for the protection when they return to work in January.

Protect your wallet

South Carolina offers free credit monitoring through CSID for state taxpayers affected by a 2012 Revenue Department data breach. What you need to know:

Already signed up? Relax. Your coverage with CSID will renew automatically.

Never signed up? It’s not too late. Check your eligibility and sign up here at the S.C. Department of Revenue: https://dor.sc.gov/securitycenter

Pro tips: When signing up, use your address in late 2012, when the breach occurred. If you have trouble signing up or have questions about your eligibility, call the CSID South Carolina Identity Protection Hotline toll free at (855) 888-2743.