UPDATE: The Governor’s Office has now given the password for the “protectmyid.com/scdor” website. Previously, South Carolinians were asked to call Experian first to get that password. The password is “scdor123”
We have gotten continued calls and questions from SC taxpayers about how you will be protected after the state’s tax agency was hacked.
According to the Governor’s Office, the South Carolina Department of Revenue will be protecting the taxpayers of South Carolina, by providing one year of credit monitoring to those who may be affected through Experian’s ProtectMyID Alert. This service includes:
-A free credit report;
-Daily credit monitoring to detect suspicious activity;
-A $1 million identity theft insurance policy.
The governor’s office released these tips:
The public is urged to be aware of scams. DOR will never call or otherwise contact those affected asking for personal information. Beneficiaries are advised to never give out their Social Security numbers or other identifying information to people you do not know.
If you filed a South Carolina tax return since 1998, you are urged to call the toll-free call center that DOR has established, which will be operating 24/7 beginning noon on Friday, October 26, 2012, for anyone who wishes to know if their personal information was included and to immediately enroll in one year of credit monitoring: 1-866-578-5422. Also please visit ProtectMyID.com/scdor for more information.
1. Review Your Credit Reports and Bank Statements. We recommend that you remain vigilant by reviewing account statements and monitoring credit reports. You can receive free credit reports by placing fraud alerts and through your credit monitoring. Under federal law, you also are entitled every 12 months to one free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting companies. To obtain a free annual credit report, go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. You may wish to stagger your requests so that you receive a free report by one of the three credit bureaus every four months.
You should also know that you have the right to file a police report if you ever experience identity fraud. Please note that in order to file a crime report or incident report with law enforcement for identity theft, you will likely need to provide some kind of proof that you have been a victim. A police report is often required to dispute fraudulent items. You can report suspected incidents of identity theft to local law enforcement.
2. Contact Credit/Debit Card Issuer. When credit/debit card information is compromised, the best protection is reissue of the card. So to protect yourself from the possibility of unauthorized charges, we recommend that you check your bank account statements regularly. If you detect any unauthorized charges, we strongly suggest that you contact your credit/debit card issuer immediately by calling the toll-free number located on the back of your card or on your monthly statement, tell them what you have seen, and ask them to cancel and reissue the card. You should tell your credit/debit card issuer that your account may have been compromised and review all charges on your account for potentially fraudulent activity. We also recommend that you change your credit/debit card web account password immediately when you discover unauthorized charges.
3. Place Fraud Alerts with the three credit bureaus. You can place a fraud alert at one of the three major credit bureaus by phone and also via Experian’s website. A fraud alert tells creditors to follow certain procedures, including contacting you, before they open any new accounts or change your existing accounts. For that reason, placing a fraud alert can protect you, but also may delay you when you seek to obtain credit. The contact information for all three bureaus is as follows:
Equifax Fraud Reporting 1-800-525-6285 www.equifax.com
Experian Fraud Reporting 1-888-397-3742 www.experian.com
TransUnion Fraud Reporting 1-800-680-7289 www.transunion.com
It is necessary to contact only ONE of these bureaus and use only ONE of these methods. As soon as one of the three bureaus confirms your fraud alert, the others are notified to place alerts on their records as well. You will receive confirmation letters in the mail and will then be able to order all three credit reports, free of charge, for your review.
4. Security Freeze: By placing a freeze, someone who fraudulently acquires your personal identifying information will not be able to use that information to open new accounts or borrow money in your name. You will need to contact the three national credit reporting bureaus listed above in writing to place the freeze. Keep in mind that when you place the freeze, you will not be able to borrow money, obtain instant credit, or get a new credit card until you temporarily lift or permanently remove the freeze. In South Carolina, there is no charge to you for placing, thawing or lifting the freeze.
Equifax Security Freeze www.freeze.equifax.com
Experian Security Freeze www.experian.com/freeze
TransUnion Fraud Reporting 1-800-680-7289 http://freeze.transunion.com
5. You Can Obtain Additional Information about the steps you can take to avoid identity theft from the following:
For South Carolina Residents:
– South Carolina Office of the Attorney General The Honorable Alan Wilson 803-734-3970 www.scag.gov
South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs: 1-800-922-1594 (Toll-Free) 803-734-4200 firstname.lastname@example.org
For all U.S. Residents:
Identity Theft Clearinghouse Federal Trade Commission www.consumer.gov/idtheft 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338) TDD: 1-202-326-2502