A prominent Democratic state senator and the South Carolina State Treasurer are calling on lawmakers to set aside $200,000 in next year’s budget into a new fund for victims of the massive hacking at the South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR).
Sen. Vincent Sheheen (D-Camden) and Treasurer Curtis Loftis proposed the new fund in a press briefing Tuesday. Sheheen said it’s meant to help repay any financial losses due to identity theft.
“When we have over 3 million South Carolinians who have had the most personal and private of their information stolen, they deserve to have a place to go to try and be compensated for the losses that government has caused them,” said Sheheen, who plans to run for governor next year.
South Carolina is currently spending $12 million with Experian to offer free credit monitoring for affected citizens. However, critics of the service frequently complain that it does little more than alert citizens of potential fraud. It offers little in the way of compensation.
The State Law Enforcement Division has not publicly said if any South Carolinians could trace fraud in their name to the hack last fall. However, several citizens have already stepped forward to claim they were victims of ID theft due to the hacking.
The fund would be similar to South Carolina’s unclaimed property operation, which is currently handled by the State Treasurer’s Office. Loftis said victims who lost money would submit forms showing how they were defrauded. He said there would be safeguards to prevent false claims.”There are all sorts of funds that compensate folks for their losses,” he said Tuesday.
Senators voted unanimously in favor of a resolution supporting the fund earlier this year. Sheheen said it was time for senators to “put their money where their mouth is.”